Wednesday, September 19, 2012

'Bully Boy' by Sandi Toksvig

19 September 2012

Last Saturday we were at the Royal Theatre in Northampton to see ‘Bully Boy’, a new play by Sandi Toksvig which explores the mental health problems suffered by soldiers who have seen active service. The play is a two-hander in which a Major (with his own physical injuries as a result of serving in the Falklands) investigates a young Private who was involved in an incident in Afghanistan in which a young civilian boy was killed. This disturbing subject matter is dealt with cleverly, believably and movingly: there are some nice touches of humour but this is a serious work. In 100 minutes of uninterrupted drama the audience’s attention is held with a measured mixture of pace, plot and movement. Anthony Andrews gives a subtle and thoughtful performance as the Major and Joshua Miles brings an incredible twitchy physicality to the troubled young soldier (and demonstrates a near-perfect Burnley accent!). Simon Higlett’s set makes creative use of projection to conjure up a wide variety of environments. ‘Bully Boy’ is an excellent piece of theatre – entertaining, disturbing and thought-provoking.

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