Boys*** (C Aquilla Edinburgh, 17 August 2013)

Posted: August 18, 2013 in Theatre

The venue, more a room than a theatre and badly ventilated, ideally suits this play which is set in the flat occupied by four young men ( three of the students) on their last night together we are promised a sort of “Train-spotting” for a new generation, drug and alcohol fuelled mayhem, and, for the first hour in the company of this fairly obnoxious bunch, that is more or less what we get. Written by Ella Hickson and convincingly performed, the play builds nicely towards a powerful climax. With civil unrest on the streets outside, old wounds are opened up and pent up anger is vented; these characters are probably tomorrow’s unemployed who already know that they will never be able to afford homes like the ones they grew up in, their frustration and rage are understandable. Unfortunately, the climax is followed by the most tortuously drawn out ending imaginable, taking almost a third of the play’s running time and only serving the purpose of demonstrating that these guys are not so bad after all. Yes, but that should not be the point. The play really needs the hard edge that it achieves and then throws away wantonly. A clue to the reason for this could lie in the gender of the writer who introduces two female characters and then seems to view events through their eyes, even giving us hints of romance. This play has so much to say, but ultimately it reeks of a cop out. Such a shame.

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