Paperboy - Review
Eve Lytollis’ play introduces us to Matt and Matthew. Matt is a supposed Alpha male, constantly bragging about how great he is and criticising others when something doesn’t go his way. His sidekick Matthew, while not always on board and sometimes awkward, looks up to him and follows what he says. The way Matthew looks up to Matt shows how behaviours are often observed, copied and leant.
Their assistant Phoebe is in the office hearing about the brags and exploits sat awkwardly to the side of the stage reflecting how she gets more uncomfortable in what is happening (reminiscent of a story I heard recently of an assistant on the TV show Friends).
The play focuses on the banter between Matt and Matthew and barely looks at their assistant. There is a lot of humour in their ever more ridiculous conversations and we are meant to laugh at them, even when it’s potentially harmful. The two leads are hilarious to the audience in what they do as we can see their idiocy/lack of self awareness and the acting encapsulates these characters.
In a clever move these two male characters are both played by women. This allowed the characters to become more caricature than had men played the roles. The conversations go over the top and this is by design, allowing the audience to quickly see the toxic masculinity, which is in no way subtle, but not initially focus on the harm. The wonderful and impressive direction by Amy Tickner focused on highlighting the worst aspects of the characters and pulling out the humour.
The play is lively with good dialogue. While there are a few parts that could be tightened up and improved overall it is a well done, enjoyable play that leaves you with a strong message. You can see it at the Camden Fringe https://camden.ssboxoffice.com/events/paperboy/
Ratings: 3 Star