The Drama Boys Redannick Theatre, Truro Review by David Bartlett IT'S rare these days to find things which the whole family can enjoy, in the way that I remember watching Morecambe and Wise with my parents, but The Drama Boys have hit on a format which works for everyone. Do Or Die was a feast of drama, performed by young men at the top of their game. The Shakespeare scenes were from A Midsummer Night's Dream, and although this play is seen and performed often, The Drama Boys took it to a whole new level. As in Shakespeare's day, the boys play the girls' parts, and so the scenes of the four young lovers charging through the forest in great confusion was not only expertly played with great physicality and energy, but had an authentic ring to it. The Mechanicals' rendition of Pyramus and Thisbe was pure joy, and had the whole audience in stitches. Special mention here has to go to the young actor playing Bottom - Tom Whitworth - whose performance was remarkable.
As well as Shakespeare, the company presented some wonderfully mad comedy scenes, mainly written by writer and actor Andy Secombe. My son laughed hysterically at the inept goalie; my wife and I loved the estate agents trying to sell a public lavatory as a unique restoration project with sea views and running water in every room, and the less than professional surgeon leaving his watch in the patient's stomach; my mother-in-law adored the young boy in the orchestra desperately trying to hit the triangle in time, and we all wept with laughter at the Dance of the Cygnets and the Matrix 'reassembled' scene. The latter parodied the complicated insanity of the film, but also showed some impressive stagefighting, and awesome spins and leaps from its lead - Matthew Secombe as Neo.
And there was much more. This company is unlimited in its talents and hugely infectious with its enormous energy and commitment. Each one of these boys is a star. To see a group of adolescent males perform at this level is an inspiration to young men everywhere.
I know their director Caroline Secombe must be immensely proud of them, and - as she said in her introduction to the evening - they will fit right in to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, where they head off to perform in August. I wish I could see them take it by storm.
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