Boys, Soho Theatre, London W1

 

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The Independent Culture

Ella Hickson's marvellous play makes a well-timed arrival at Soho Theatre in Robert Icke's superbly cast co-production for Headlong, HighTide and the Nuffield Theatre.

All over the country now, university students are in that strange limbo between finishing their exams and being flung into an unforgiving future that is both the actual lot of the Edinburgh flat-sharers in the piece and, thanks to Hickson's terrific tragicomic touch, a metaphor for a state of mind – an unsettling mixture of relief and foreboding, nostalgia for parties past and the sense that, for you, the party may soon be over – that resurfaces, in modified forms, throughout the rest of one's life.

Danny Kirrane's splendid, endearingly uningratiating Benny is the heart of the piece, with his troubled awareness that he will never know more than he knows now (all of it useless). Tensions rise in a play that both powerfully captures the mood of a generation and addresses permanent truths with exhilarating flair.

(020 7478 0100) to 16 Jun

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