I am a real sucker for the human voice. Usually though it’s when it’s being used as an instrument and not to make the most incredible array of sound effects heard from the mouth of Lewis Doherty. Because Doherty is a one-man beatboxing sound machine.
Boar, on the face of it, isn’t a show that would have cross section appeal. Its basis is very much in the fantasy realms of Game Of Thrones and Lord of The Rings. The story sees our titular hero seeking revenge for the slaughter of almost everyone in his village seventeen years previous. He’s not alone, instead accompanied by the babe-in-arms he found in the ruin of his village. Along the way he meets a ragtag bunch of characters, until ultimately the King sets him a task to complete. So far even I’m not that interested in this review!
What makes Boar the incredible piece of theatre that merits its five stars is in the performance that Doherty gives. It is quite simply breath-taking. First there is the vocal performance. Every sound effect, every voice, is carefully crafted. The swishing of swords, the thrust of a blade through flesh, even the opening of a door. It’s completely compelling, and as with any great beatboxing, you just can’t believe it’s all being produced unaided. And when he does the various voices, they are so different to each other there is no risk you aren’t sure who he is playing in that moment.
The vocal performance alone would make this a show worth seeing. So, the fact that in addition to the aural onslaught Doherty also does a fine line in physical theatre, well, this really is the complete package. As swords swish, Doherty switches character from the one using the sword to the one being attacked, one moment he is swinging the sword, the next his body is contorting to avoid the blade, or at least attempt to; there is a high body count here, especially for a one-man show.
Boar is something unique, Doherty delivers a performance that is flawless and utterly compelling. Even if you aren’t a fan of the fantasy world this story occupies, trust me, you will still be transfixed by the performance that is on offer.
Written and performed by: Lewis Doherty
Booking link: https://tickets.edfringe.com/whats-on/boar
Booking until: 25 August 2019