Pros: Hauntingly and beautifully told.
Cons: Not for the faint hearted.
Can you imagine what it would feel like if you were locked away in solitary confinement? After seeing the performance of The Box, you will definitely be able to.
Steve Lambert does an impeccable job of depicting the psychotic journey of a man that has been imprisoned and put away not only in physical solitary confinement, but in confinement of his thoughts as well. The audience witnesses the torturous experience of a man who has suffered immensely and the repercussions that have driven him to a tormenting episode while being locked away.
Lambert originally wrote the play centring around a female character but, due to funding, the part was rewritten and Lambert took on the role of the prisoner, while also directing – talk about a triple threat!
Draper Hall is an intimate venue, in the heart of Elephant & Castle with the kindest staff that make you feel incredibly welcome. Due to the refusal from the Arts Council, the entire show was set up on a tight budget and, consequently, a small donation was accepted for drinks and there was no programme. However, the entire organisation and execution of the event was exceptionally done.
Just before the audience was called to go inside the auditorium, there were loud banging noises and screaming, which confused a few of the audience members, but once you entered the stage space, it all made sense. As you enter the intimate open space, you walk inside a dark hall with a large fenced off area in the centre, only to find a man creating banging noises and screaming profanities – the beginning of witnessing a psychotic episode or the repercussions of a mentally and physically tortured man. Chris Thompson portrays the prison warden, but also the devil on the prisoner’s shoulders. For about 50-minutes, you witness the agonising obsession of a tortured mind that will wrench on your heart-strings. It is like seeing your worst nightmare played out on stage.
Badac Theatre Company was formed by Steve Lambert and Dan Robb in 1999. It is an establishment that explores human rights issues and how they affect the individual. They use improvisation, intense research and new writing, supported by the theatre philosophies of Jerzy Grotowski and Antonin Arnaud.
In a world where theatre acts as a form of escapism, it is very important to have pieces like The Box that expose us to real-life issues and convey intense topics that are often avoided.
The Box is a performance that will remain with you for days, weeks or maybe even years. I am still speaking about it to everyone, and so will you.
Author: Steve Lambert
Director: Steve Lambert
Producer: Badac Theatre
Booking Information: This show has now completed its run.