Our Boys (4 stars)

Our Boys

Friendship and light in the most desperate of circumstances

From the beginning it's obvious that this performance of Jonathan Lewis' play is going to impress. As the lights go up on the six soldiers, they face the audience, unflinching, then begin a fast choreographed sequence of moves representing their time in the field. It's slick and dramatic, and sets the tone perfectly for what follows.

Updated from the original setting of 1984 to 2010 for this Fringe run, Our Boys takes place in the aftermath of Afghanistan 2008/9. The naturalistic writing is brought to life by this talented cast and you can't help but warm to every single 'boy' in this story. There's a perfect balance here between light and dark, as in the midst of their physical and mental trauma each boy finds friendship and his place in the group (through banter, bullying and an unhealthy interest in each other's bodily functions). The pace is quite slow, but mirrors the reality of what life is like when it seems to be falling apart. By the end it feels like you yourself are part of the group, and that's why the ending is all the more tragic.

PQA Venues @Riddle's Court,16-31 Aug (not 22), 8.30pm, £6 (£4.50).

Our Boys

  • 4 stars

Q Productions Jonathan Guy reimagines the critically acclaimed Our Boys for a new generation. Age category: 12+

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