Boys

Ella Hickson

No Prophet Theatre Company and Close Up Theatre

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From 01 August 2013 to 26 August 2013

Rating: *

Review by Seth Ewin

This was basically some kind of torture, partly due the temperature of the room which was hot even by Fringe standards. You sit sweating away dying for a glass of water while the actors kept swigging back drinks and pouring water over themselves. And the play about a never-ending party, seemed just that.

The play continues with the actors barely audible over several whirring fans. There are several times when it looks like the end is in sight only for the lights to go up on another scene—like that experience of climbing a tall mountain where it looks like you're onto the final peak only for a further one to appear over the crest.

The plot is actually quite good and the acting isn't bad; in many ways the faults of the production lie more with the director. Although Ella Hickson could probably have pared the play down a bit if she knew she was writing for the Fringe.

Arguably though it is the director's role to adapt the play to suit the situation. Where the director really failed though was in the presentation, there was very little theatrical creativity and the plot played out like a soap opera. It was quite an interesting soap opera, but you don't come to the theatre to watch something you can get on television.

The play concerns a group of young adults, some students, some wannabe students in a house filling up with rubbish due to a strike. While inside the 'boys' have a marathon hedonistic sesh, outside the real world is happening as police have to deal with increasing levels of civil unrest.

Great idea and good use of projections to show what is happening outside, however the outside problems never properly breakthrough into the house, although maybe that is the point. The director also should probably have thought about the timing and location of the play—near the castle around ten—and actually involved the sounds of the tattoo—loud explosions and bagpipes in the play.

It is after all set in Edinburgh anyway, and the idea of Scottish civil unrest with pipers is rather cool.