Mad About the Boy

Gbolahan Obisesan
Iron Shoes
Udderbelly

It may only last 40 minutes but this tone poem told in today's street vernacular packs a powerful punch.

The drama, directed by Ria Parry, tells an all too believable tale about a Boy, played by Bayo Gbadamosi, who thinks himself tough.

Everything is related by Boy, his Teacher (James Michie) and Father (Cyril Nri) in overlapping speech, often delivered with a rapidity that can take some understanding.

In the early scenes, Boy is in trouble at school but unwilling to take advice from either of the men.

A stage later, he is receiving counselling but wants no help other than to get some "pussy".

His inevitable fate is sealed after Boy entices a girl into being raped, then takes the rap rather than snitching. This leaves him remanded in an offenders' institution, with every chance that it will become his home for the remainder of his formative years.

Gbolahan Obisesan has written a powerful work that gets under the skin of a society that is currently reeling from riots initiated by boys like Boy. As such, it has suddenly taken on great importance in giving a voice to a group that is rarely heard in public forum.

Reviewer: Philip Fisher