Saturday, 19 August 2017

Review The Boot

Peter Barker is amused by a new angle on a love triangle when a husband decides to spice up his wife's sex life.

The Boot
by Peter Briffa


A sex comedy with a twist, The Boot is a neat one-act piece which at 50 minutes doesn't outstay its welcome.

White-haired Bill describes he and his younger, curvily attractive wife Julie as "swingers". but at the same time has to admit that their own sex life has fallen into the doldrums.

However when he meets an old flame of Julie, Germanic hunk Ray, in the car park while shopping at a certain Swedish furniture store, he makes an indecent proposal, changing the course of his marriage.    

The Boot is an undemanding, but enjoyable new play performed as part of the Camden Fringe at the Hen and Chickens Theatre.

There are quite a few laughs in The Boot, directed by Paul Blinkhorn, and an intriguing plot, even if I found the ending rather unclear. Yet the theatrical journey to it made my own trip to the theatre worthwhile.

Looking back, some of the plot points seem a little implausible but in performance they do work. Derek Hicks as scouser Bill, Fiona McKinnon as Julie and Michael Wagner as Ray kept my attention giving nearly an hour of amusement.   

It's a conventional, linear, easy to watch piece with a few surprises along the way. I saw the first performance and there were a few hiccups - hesitancy over some lines and the scene changes on the minimal set need to be quicker.

McKinnon makes a slinkily sexy Julie (even when wearing a surgical boot!) while Wagner has a charming presence in his stage debut as Ray but needs at times to project his voice more.

Briffa’s script goes from car park to car boot sale, never taking itself too seriously, delivering some funny moments and allowing the hidden baggage to emerge. 

While there's solid staging by director Blinkhorn, keeping it simple with a back backdrop and few props, it did occur to me that this is a play with radio potential.

It manages to give a conventional dramatic trope an unclich├ęd makeover, keeping me entertained, so it's an amber light for a play that runs until Sunday, August 20th

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