By Niall Ransome
The Bunker, 53 a Southwark Street, London SE1 1RU to 30 December 2017.
Mon-Sat 7pm Mat Sat 3pm.
Runs 1 hr No interval.
TICKETS: 020 7403 1139
Review: William Russell 20 December
A bleak tale for Christmas
This savage, shattering and sad monologue is a stort for our times and a reminder that Hull may be a city of culture but there is a world of despair and danger beyond the bright lights. Boy, a powerful performance by Will Mytum, lives with his alcoholic Mum and younger brother Matty. Dad disappeared years back, Mum is a hopeless parent and the Social Services are threatening to take Matty into care.
But Boy loves Matty and one day he collects him from school and they run away, he steals a car, and when it runs out of petrol, sets it alight. The police come, the two run away through the woods and end up on the edge of a cliff above a quarry. Boy has to make a choice.
Directed by Niall Ransome it is a brisk sixty minute roller coaster ride, a journey helped by the background score by Peter Wilson and the lighting by Jess Bernberg which bathes the set in cool autumnal light and then turns things bleak and sinister as the rain starts and the runaways plunge ever deeper into trouble.
Ransome has written his play in verse and what could have been pretentious and artificial works beautifully. The language is tough and muscular and for all the conceit of employing the verse form Ransome never makes Boy say things in words or images he does not have the education to know.
It is a story of Boy taking a wrong step – keeping his brother out of the clutches of others he distrusts– and then compounding their problems by his actions until that crucial moment arrives when their future has to be decided. Maybe it is a bleak tale for Christmas, but it is certainly one of our times.
Boy: Will Mytum.
Director: Niall Ransome.
Sound designer: Peter Wilson.
Lighting designer: Jess Bernberg,
Set designer: Grace Venning.