11 – 30 December 2017
Written & directed by Niall Ransome
Performed by Will Mytum
Produced by Eastlake Productions
To stop his little brother being taken by child protection services, a teenage boy takes him and flees their council estate in Hull. Being pursued with no plan and less prospects, the Boy struggles to survive against the elements and his conscious. It’s an hour-long one-man show, written in verse, that immerses you in the thoughts and dilemmas of the boy and his emotional bond with his little brother.
We previously interviewed the writer/director Niall Ransome about the project, read the interview here.
It’s a remarkable performance of a remarkable text.
Will Mytum gives an immensely charismatic and engaging performance. It’s hard to look away. It’s vulnerable and full of conflict, filled with guilt, fear, loyalty and love. Mytum dances the Boy through swaggering arrogance, to comedy, through painful emotion, and back.
Ransome has done an incredible job at balancing the verse and the action, the pace of the text rockets you through the play, while still leaving plenty of room for the language to breathe, and like a lot of great verse, you often forget that you’re listening to verse.
The language is not only perfect for pacing, but also for the character and ambience. The Northern, urban flavour drips deliciously from every syllable. The poetic way in which the scenes and imagery are painted by both words and performer is stunning. The scenes of the play unfold in front of you cinematically, like a pop-up book. You can see the identical brick council estates, the characters and the cars, and the relationship between Boy and his brother Mattie is palpable and heartfelt, despite their being only one person on stage. There are some beautiful moments where the whole world grows behind Mytum as he performs, and it feels like you’re there with him.
The plays themes aren’t all as easy to experience. Ransome has done an incredible job in exploring the moral grey zone within the characters and scenarios. You don’t always agree with the Boy’s actions, he is foul mouthed, impulsive, and destructive, but his heart is in the right place and watching him go through what he goes through, hurts. It dissects some of what’s really wrong with modern Britain. It’s a beautiful punch in the gut.
During my chat with Niall he talked about wanting audiences to walk away from the production more open minded, moved by the capacity of people who we may have most misjudged.
It worked on me.