Reviewed – 13th December 2017
“a mature and thought provoking reflection on the consequences of living in an economically beleaguered, run-down society”
People run away for different reasons, some serious and others trivial. What if the streets held the only option for you? Seventeen-year-old tracksuit clad Boy may have a lot of bravado, but in reality his world is crumbling. He lives in a decrepit council flat in Hull with his alcoholic mother and little brother Matty. It’s the lead up to Christmas and ‘the people in silver cars’, social services, are eager to split the inseparable brothers up and take Matty away.
The overall impression Niall Ransome’s poetic vernacular creates is of a helpless and vulnerable teenager yearning for something beyond. He hopes there is a world elsewhere. A world where he and his brother can live and be safe. Unsurprisingly, a pivotal point is when the authorities are stood on the other side of the bedroom door, attempting to separate the two. Will Mytum proves a wonderfully versatile actor, playing both boys whilst skilfully using verse in the rhythm of naturalistic dialogue. It’s here when a frantic Boy realises that although it might be a chance for his little brother to have a childhood in a happy home, he’s scared of losing him forever. Gripping his little brother’s hand, the two flee across fields and through towns, shoplifting food and ultimately stealing a car. These aren’t just juvenile pranks, they’re genuine acts of desperation.
Peter Wilson’s music thunders and vibrates a marked out playground with piles of autumn leaves, a streetlamp which often flickers and bathes Boy in its sodium light. Although no actual setting of a house, the few key pieces designer Grace Venning has cleverly chosen really make the stage feel like a housing estate. The piece is a mature and thought provoking reflection on the consequences of living in an economically beleaguered, run-down society. These problems don’t just go away at Christmas.
Reviewed by Chloe Cordell
Photography by Andreas Lambis
is at The Bunker until 30th December