According to a 2016 Guardian review of ‘Shopping and Fucking’, the play ‘reflects the anxieties and monetary obsessions of youngsters living in a post-financial crash world where you are what you own; where even intimacy comes at a terrible price..’ The same review says ‘there is a bleak logic in Ravenhill’s vision of a world and culture devalued, when everything is reduced to a transaction, so even love becomes brutalised.’ In the following speech, Brian, a drug dealer, lays out the philosophy behind unquestioned consumerism…

Tell me, son, says my dad, what are the first few words in the Bible? I don’t know, Dad, I say, what are the first few words in the Bible? And he looks at me, he looks me in the eye and he says: Son, the first few words in the Bible are…get the money first. Get. The Money. First.
Pause.
It’s not perfect, I don’t deny it. We haven’t reached perfection. But it’s the closest we’ve come to meaning, Civilisation is money. Money is civilisation. And civilisation – how did we get here? By war, by struggle, kill or be killed. And money – it’s the same thing, you understand? The getting is cruel, is hard, but the having is civilisation. Then we are civilised. Say it. Say it with me. Money is…
Pause.
SAY IT. Money is…[…] Yes. Yes. I’m teaching. You’re learning. Money is civilisation.