TO JUNE 6

Trainspotting fans yearning for a taste of Ewan McGregor need not wait in line at the Uptown: A Mark Renton-esque male prostitute is the subject of acclaimed British playwright Jim Cartwright’s I Licked a Slag’s Deodorant, a chilling, articulate, and sentimental bloody valentine to the U.K.’s underworld now making its Washington premiere. As the slag, local actor (and the play’s director) Anton Dudley makes every crack-induced shiver, sexual debacle, and utterance of “wanker” as real as Ewanly possible. Welcome to BritGrit, theater by a new generation of under-30 playwrights who pick all the scabs of British society—drug abuse, violence, and prostitution—with equal parts humor and rancor. Playing in rep with Deodorant is Slag Heap (pictured), written and directed by Dudley, who begins New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts’ playwriting master’s program in September. Dudley’s work bodes well for the future of the art: Heap is fast, funny, and begging to be produced by Miramax. It seems that ever since we opened up that can of whup-ass on England 200 years ago, we Yanks have been fascinated with yarns about their demimonde. Are Brits really any grittier than we are? Says Dudley, “I think American theater is safer than British theater, which takes more risks because more people are willing to go see theater. Americans are willing to see Trainspotting in a movie, but not necessarily in a play.” At 8 p.m. Thursday, May 20, to Sunday, May 23; 10 p.m. Thursday, May 27, to Sunday, May 30; and 8 p.m. Thursday, June 3, to Sunday, June 6, at Metro Cafe, 1522 14th St. NW. $10. (202) 588-9118. (Amanda Fazzone)