Time for the Good-Looking Boy

Time for the Good-Looking Boy

 Box Clever Theatre Company

 Pleasance Dome Jack Venue23, Bristo Square

 

YOUNG mixed-race men from London; especially those speaking in cod-Jamaican patois and dressed in ‘gangsta-rap’ gear and hoodies aren’t getting a good press at the moment what with recent disturbances and outbreaks of looting in and around the city.

Coming in with all this baggage, it’s natural for the audience to prejudge Time for the Good-Looking Boy.  Many may dismiss it in Daily Mail terms as, ‘probably some soft, leftie claptrap making excuses for the kind of scum who are looting and wrecking all round them in London’.  Well, it’s not.

Lloyd Thomas plays the nameless ‘good-looking boy’.  He’s brash, but he doesn’t want you getting the wrong idea, ‘I’m Mr Average. Mr Ordinary.’ He does nice things like nice boys are supposed to do. Occasionally breaking into rap he says, ‘I ain’t no bad boy wanting to cause midsummer madness’. He loves his mum, who has brought him up, ‘real proper’. He’s likeable, as well as good-looking.

In a light-hearted manner he tells the audience how he has had a fight with his girlfriend, Sammie.  Not a ‘fight, fight’, though; a word fight.  A member of the audience was persuaded to provide her words, ‘What time do you call this?’, Why didn’t you phone? Don’t you have a watch? We get the picture. It’s good knockabout stuff and the packed audience laps it up.

As more details unfold, the mood changes subtly.  We hear more about the party, his kid sister who thinks that he bosses her about to much and his best mae.  As details of the young mans’s story emerge the audience starts to notice odd things;little details about his white trainers with coloured laces. As we’re listening to this young man’s story of how he loved his girlfriend, his kid sister and his mum, we realise that something terrible has happened.  Why have the police called at his mum’s door? Why did she go off with them?

As he relates the drive home from the party it all becomes shockingly clear. The effect on the audience ispalpable. Thomas gives a flawless performance in this haunting story.  This is my Pick of the Fringe.  If you see only one play, make it Time for the Good-Looking Boy

Reviewed by David Kerr

***** Five Stars

Box Clever

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