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Boys Club - Review - Jacksons Lane

Boys Club, Jacksons Lane – Review

Pros: A great idea explored with a riotous energy.

Cons: Poor structuring and lack of character development rendered the crux of the show unconvincing.

Pros: A great idea explored with a riotous energy. Cons: Poor structuring and lack of character development rendered the crux of the show unconvincing. The show begins with Jules and Joe thrusting around the stage spraying the audience with some truly awful chat up lines (awful by design) between professing their unconquerable male virility. Their overzealous masculine posturing and clownish facial expressions get the show off on the right foot as it teeters on hilarity. From here we get several cabaret performances which involve either dancing or lip synching to different songs. Somewhere in the middle the two men…

Summary

Rating

Good

Joe and Jules are forced to dress as men in order to get work on the stage, only for their plan to slowly unravel before the eyes of their audiences.

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The show begins with Jules and Joe thrusting around the stage spraying the audience with some truly awful chat up lines (awful by design) between professing their unconquerable male virility. Their overzealous masculine posturing and clownish facial expressions get the show off on the right foot as it teeters on hilarity. From here we get several cabaret performances which involve either dancing or lip synching to different songs. Somewhere in the middle the two men are revealed to be women, at which point their fee for the show is cut and they perform a sit-in protest until they are paid the same as if they were men.

It’s a great idea that unfortunately does not reach its full potential in the performance; it felt like a show wrapped around an idea rather than a more subtle provocation of the audience to this societal injustice. In terms of character development and engaging the audience in the plight, attempts were made but they didn’t go far enough – I needed to know why the pay gap really mattered to these characters. That being said, the ‘live’ feed over Facebook was a brilliant inclusion which created an uncanny mix of performance and reality mixing with the issue at hand.

It’s hard to know where to place this show. There were so many different elements flying around of varying quality – I found myself laughing, sighing and utterly befuddled in equal measure. It seemed like a show that was half finished, taken out of the oven halfway through cooking. With some more development and some much-needed pathos to give it an edge, it could be great. The vulgar humour remained a constant, and although it was initially successful, it undermined the pertinence of the ending.

Overall this show was undeniably entertaining; both actresses were talented and whizzed around the stage with a bold energy. However, there was a naivety about the show that was unable to contain the importance of the issues it presented. I wanted to be engaged on an emotional level as well as an intellectual one, but the show never got me there.

Devised and Performed by: Sharlit Deyzac and Leonor Lemée
Directed by: Peta Lily
Produced by: Two Tongue Theatre
Booking Information: This show has completed its run.

About Martin Pettitt

Martin Pettitt
Martin is an editor of books on psychoanalysis as well as a writer and poet. Theatre has always been ‘that thing that was always there that he is unable to avoid’ and so he loves it as he does any other member of his family. He has variously been described as ‘the man with all the t’s’, ‘the voice of the indifference’ and ‘Jesus’, but overall he is just some guy. He wakes up, does some stuff then returns to slumber, ad infinitum. A container of voices. He hates mushrooms.