on 8 November 2012
I saw this play at the Soho Theatre last June and absolutely loved it. The characters are engaging, funny, distasteful and unpleasant by turns, and the relationships between them are deftly drawn. The two female characters are especially well-written. It's a little long and rambly as a play, but this isn't to its detriment; the characters are at an age when a bit of self-indulgent waffle is to be expected. The original cast were wonderful, and I think the play would provide challenge for a cast of sixth formers or university drama students.
on 26 November 2012
Ella Hickson has been lauded as the voice of a generation. Where I agree she has a knack of writing politically and socialy astute plays, I find her work a little over done. The idea behind her latest play is a simple but an interesting one. A group of boys are about to graduate into an uncertain economic future. Dramatically the play is tightly structured, with it set in one location, that of a flat in the aftermath of a party and later at the height of a party. Characters come and go, with most the action revolving around the constantly juvenile party boy Timp. But the action shifts to center around each of the characters and their relationships with the others. Thus revealing each character throughout the play. The problem I find with Hickson's writing is she seems to write a certain type of young person; a clichéd version of the self obsessed, pessimist, that wallows in self destruction and immature sexual encounters. I always feel Hickson is writing from a far removed position from the current generation of desperate young people. The cast of characters is an unlikable Skins lite bunch and even the tragedy that binds them together cant make up for this. There are interesting ideas, that are as always put together with a great understanding of dramatic structure and technique; with the metaphor of pilling rubbish and the backdrop of a riot giving the play form and up to date relevance. But like the very literal metaphor of pilling rubbish, this play is a little over done. Hickson again relies on monologues for dramatic character revelations, emotional and dramatic conflict is all to easily spilled into the open and predictably unfolded. The subject matter is exciting, but themes fail to be developed by the cast of Skins lite characters. Interesting points are raised but it always feels like an agenda of the playwright and never the insight of such self indulgent people. Ultimately Boys is a well put together piece of work but it doesn't say very much at all.
on 3 August 2013
Ms Hickson is highly rated, but I wasn't terribly keen on this. It seemed to waffle on quite a bit with nothing much happening. I am probably missing the point, but if I don't like a book I don't finish it, and I don't think I finished this one.