Playwright Jez Butterworth is one of British theatre's rising stars and the Basement's production of his 1995 breakthrough play makes it easy to see why.

Mojo delivers a blast of edgy, high-octane drama featuring sharply dressed, pill-popping gangsters, macabre humour and the primal rhythms of early 50s rock'n'roll.

Set in 1958, the story plunges us into the seedy backrooms of a Soho nightclub where a motley bunch of small-time criminals are coming to terms with the gangland execution of their boss. The hoodlums establish a new pecking order by indulging in a frenzied bout of backstabbing and vicious power plays that are turbocharged with a grab bag of multi-coloured pills.

But the play is much deeper than the Guy Ritchie films it is said to have inspired.

By connecting the gangster ethic with the seductive hedonism of early rock'n'roll, Butterworth seems to be commenting on the post-war culture shift. And the point is made explicit as the young thugs mercilessly ridicule the dutybound heroism of the earlier generation who endured the Great Depression and defeated fascism.

Beyond the high-jinks and hilarity lies a nightmarish vision of an amoral universe where the only guiding principle is the will to hold power. Unsurprisingly, the leader who emerges out of the chaos is the most profoundly psychopathic character whose childhood experiences have left him immune to any feelings of empathy.

Gareth Reeves carries off the anti-hero role with a mesmerising portrait of a softly spoken, baby-faced killer who earns the respect of his colleagues through a display of cold-blooded brutality.

The talented cast seize the opportunity to throw themselves into the kind of roles young actors must dream of - articulate, Tarantino-style gangsters who talk of their lives like guests on the daytime talk-show.

Sam Snedden is particularly impressive as the victim of gang bullying, while Charlie McDermott and David Van Horn establish themselves as a likeable pair of simple-minded rogues dreaming of the good life.

Ian Hughes ably represents the older generation trying to bring order to the madness while Dan Veint has a nice cameo as the emerging pop star in the gang's sights.