Did you know that the Conservative Party has put forward more gay MP’s than Labour? Neither did the RZ until he say Tory Boyz at the Soho. A part of the National Youth Theatre’s summer residency, this piece manages to avoid the standard acting pitfalls of youth productions, but trades them for massive flaws in the script.
Shall we begin? Good.
First off, there’s a recurring maestro motif as though Edward Heath, suspected queer PM, has been setting up and manipulating the party’s platform on gay issues since his reign. It’s an odd place to start, and leaves the audience wondering why they couldn’t have properly set the stage before starting.
Then there’s the annoying evil Tory, the one who womanises, makes grand claims, and acts like Patrick on Coupling. You know that he’s in for a downfall the moment he announces that he’s leaving research for an election because he’s such a prat that there’s no other choice.
Our “hero” is a young go-getter, working with inner city children on an upcoming education bill, gay, and possibly running for office in the future himself. Since he needs to keep a clean slate on his personal life, he avoids parties and the advances of a (well-meaning?) Labour office worker as well. Because he’s such a do-gooder, though, it’s also obvious that he’ll bring about the evil one’s campaign with a convenient promotion following some not so veiled threats.
Then there’s the education aspect, where Mr. Lead Character goes into the schools, explains politics to kids, and ends the play showing some “hot Tory moves” in a rather unsatisfying ending. The kids are OK, but like real children (and politicians), they have a habit of shouting over each other in just about every scene.
In short? It’s not a bad play, but rough around more than just the edges and comes across as a Conservative Party recruitment platform than a serious historical or politically driven piece.
Where: Soho Theatre
When: In rep until 13 Sep. Check the site for dates, all perfs. at 19:30.
How Much: £20-£22 depending on the day.
RZ Unofficial “Worth Paying”: A tentative £10 for what feels like an excessively staged workshop rather than a finished piece.
RZ Other Notes: Seating is unreserved and on benches. Come early to stake your territory at the risk of getting told to move over by the ushers.