Our Boys (and the Opera tavern) Four Stars

November 8, 2012

I’ve always loved Laurence Fox (Hathaway in the TV series Lewis) hence the reason for suggesting a friend and I go see him in Our Boys – a play set in the 80s in a military hospital ward in Woolwich. And what a treat it was – he’d stripped to his underpants within the first 5 minutes.  But actually, it was the cut and thrust of the banter between the squaddies and then with the ‘potential officer’ who was assigned to their four-bed bay whilst the major’s wife occupied his side room.  Very British military – coarse humour and camaraderie.  The interactions between them all are intense, fast paced, hilarious and moving. Making harsh cruel fun of each other one second and switching to caring and cleaning up the inability to control the bladder or holding tight through intense wracking pain. We gradually hear their stories and they test the classic toff officer by involving him in a drinking game  – the Beer Hunter. When there is a betrayal, and they risk being thrown out of the Army for conduct unbecoming, fingers are immediately pointed to the officer and he can do nothing to convince them otherwise. The way the army abandons its ex-servicemen sparks fear and anger.

There isn’t a weak link. All performances are strong, believable and endearing in their own ways. The guy dribbling, incoherent in the wheelchair after a bullet in the head is fantastic, – a standout for me as we watch him gradually progress. Laurence Fox is tight, intelligent, seething with anger beneath the surface and heartbreaking as he talks about the bomb that got him and his friend . “I didn’t lose consciousness you see” and you are transported to the awfulness.

Its a limited run so catch it while you can  – 4 stars.

And we ate at the Opera Tavern just up the raod. High end very tasty tapas,  great wine, fast intelligent service –  another 4 stars


2 Responses to “Our Boys (and the Opera tavern) Four Stars”

  1. michael Says:

    You didn’t mention that you went to the Opera Tavern! I’ve wanted to go there for a while now.

    Sounds like a great play though – might have to see if anyone wants to go.

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