Tuesday, May 24, 2016

The Boy

I watched Boy at Almeida Theatre and give it a 5/5 rating.

It's a haunting play of a lost boy knowing he is lost but not sure how to get back on his feet and his meek attempts to find a pillar are left midway when the system fails him. Leo Butler's script is tight in spite of the story itself seeing little happening. The Boy goes in and out of the council offices, hangs around bus stops, walks about aimlessly, tries to grab on to friends who seem more sure of themselves, tries to grab on to any friends. All of it in vain. A boy does not know what he wants and no one to inspire him or guide him.

Frankie Fox is natural in his debutant professional theatre performance, at times making you wonder if that is who he is. Sacha Wares as the director and Miriam Buether as the set designer bring together an incredible show. The set is a concave elliptical conveyor belt and different objects are placed on it to create new sets. There is an army of people to make sure that right object is placed at the right time,  including trees, doors, Sports Direct. And people sit on invisible chairs (I think it was the shoes that had hooks on them to support them). It was all a mesmerising performance on a small stage and a short play that really touches you.

It deserves a 5/5 for what it's brought to stage. But I did wonder, was it necessary?
The Trial had a conveyor belt too, and clearly it needed precision to place things at the right time too, except all that happened backstage because the belt started and ended backstage. They could have easily done the same here but they didn't want to. And considering the number of period props they set up on stage every now and then including supermarket self-checkouts and tube ticket barricades, they could have easily put up bare stools or chairs instead of complicating shoes. It paid off because they pulled it off and it's a vanity show but it still deserves the accolades.

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