Boar (4 stars)

This article is from 2019


Fantasy adventure from a busy man

Lewis Doherty keeps himself busy. Playing all of the parts in a one-man monologue that takes on the features of fantasy literature, from bloody-thirsty pirates to savage dragons, he races through Boar with a sublime energy and a ready sense of humour. Embracing the absurdity of the genre and his own attempt to tell the tale alone, Doherty offers an exhausting romp through heroism with a few contemporary twists.

The story of Boar is insubstantial – there is revenge, their is an abducted princess, there is a cunning thief and a fatuous prince – but it is the witty characterisation that lifts it above self-indulgence or predictability. The prince is the kind of wealthy bore who can be found punting an acapella show on the Royal Mile: the princess tries to imitate the bored drone of an internet celebrity, and the protagonist, Boar, is a macho bore who disappears half-way through his own adventure. The jokes are warm and not mocking, but Doherty never takes the material seriously. It is a showcase for his physical theatre skills, funny accents and boundless energy. The plot does lose all coherence towards the end, leaving threads hanging.

Using only a chair and a pair of hand-held lights, Doherty is able to conjure storms at sea, fights with monsters, a court full of sketched caricatures and the hero's journey across mountains, caves and rivers: Boar is both parody and adventure into the theatrical possibilities of one man and his body.

Pleasance Courtyard, until 25 Aug, 10.45pm, £10–£11 (£9–10)


  • 4 stars

A one-man fantasy adventure tale. Age category: 12+