BOY at the Almeida Theatre
What goes on in the mind of a young boy without prospects? How does he spend his time? What does he imagine his future to be like? Leo Butler’s ambitious new play, BOY, tries to shed light on some of these questions and portrays a few days in the life of a youth living in London who is trying to figure out his future.
Instead of overloading the production with an intricate plot line, Butler completely focuses on the character of 17-year-old Liam (Frankie Fox), as he tries to connect with the people of his past as well as those around him. Liam repeatedly struggles to make his next steps and eventually gets lost amid the hubbub of London where he discovers that not everyone is kind to a “dodgy-looking” teenager.
The set is as fluctuant as the way of the main protagonist: set in the middle of the theatre, the stage is made up of a moving walkway, reminiscent of a baggage conveyor belt, which moves the characters along. The rest of the set is equally unfixed, constantly destructed and reconstructed – new props are added by the minute. A seat in the stalls is thus highly recommendable as it allows the viewer to become absorbed in the chaos of Liam’s life.
The visual effect greatly contributes to Liam’s story: he moves between bus stops, unemployment agency and train stations, not knowing himself where he is going. Even though BOY is Fox’s professional stage debut, he captures his character, including his accent, brilliantly. Alongside him, the rest of the cast moves wonderfully between roles.
BOY is inarguably an intelligent portrayal of what it is like to grow up in uncertainty and captures the spirit of contemporary London’s youth culture.
Photos: Kwame Lestrade
BOY is on at the Almeida Theatre from 5th April until 28th May 2016, for further information or to book visit here.
Watch the trailer for the show here: