Sometimes, shows defy description. You go to the theatre, with an expectation of what you will be seeing and, in reality, you are presented with something which is so totally different that you leave the theatre totally shell-shocked. This was my reaction to Two Tongue Theatre’s production Boys Club at Jackson Lane.
Boys Club is performed by two out of work actresses (Sharlit Deyzac and Leonor Lemée) who have dragged up as young French men out on the ‘pull’. We know they are French and in a heavily innuendo-laden piece of dialogue, they tell the ladies in the audience how they arrived in the UK. As if this wasn’t bad enough, they then proceed to try and chat up the ladies using some of the worst pick-up lines ever devised by man. Their performance is hyper and testosterone-filled as they sing, dance, gyrate and rub their ‘bits’ to entice the ladies. It’s all a bit macabre but horribly reminiscent of the ways chaps used to behave in those far days when I went to nightclubs. The show progresses and then the two actors make a huge mistake which leads to a total reappraisal of their current position with amazing results.
And, as far as detail goes, that is your lot. The rest of Boys Club needs to be as much of a surprise to you as it was for me. What I will tell you is, it is fast-paced and completely bonkers in places. Director Peta Lily really keeps Sharlit and Leonor moving – and hats off to them being able to run around in the costumes they spend the second half of the show in. As the true meaning of the show becomes clear, the ladies really step the pace up. I was a bit worried that the message was getting lost slightly along the way, but really have to admire the energy and personality that the actors’ show and their total commitment to the roles they are playing.
Without giving anything away, it’s difficult to tell you much more. Costume-wise, the show works well, and for both actors, their costume is a great enhancement to their character’s personality. So for the first sequence, as boys, Sharlit’s is a close fitting dark suit, white shirt and tie – the epitome of French chic it could be argued – whilst Leonor was in jeans, tee shirt and leather jacket, less chic and wilder than her compatriot. The choice of music also works well, and I absolutely loved the French song – with projected translation – explaining why someone loved someone else despite all the negatives in their relationship.
Overall then, Boys Club is an intensely funny show with a really important message at its heart. By the end, my sides were aching with laughter as I left the auditorium. Thinking about how to sum up the show. Well, the first half was like “Kevin and Perry” assuming Kevin and Perry were French had ‘Des Balles’ enough to talk to the opposite sex. The second half made the first look like a quiet afternoon matinee with your mother with its raucous, loud, fast, explosive and ultimately hilarious story and acting. A thoroughly enjoyable hour of rich and fun entertainment with a message.
Review by Terry Eastham
Some girls would do anything to be on stage. This is Boys Club: a gender-bending satire on inequality by Two Tongue Theatre, coming to Jackson’s Lane as part of their Postcards Festival 2017.
Two unemployed actresses have no choice but to pass for men in order to get work. Together, they host the male cabaret ‘Boys Club’ and deliver a testosterone-fuelled routine of dances and macho jokes… until an accident forces them to rethink their options. Awaken your inner activist in this gender-bending satire from Two Tongue Theatre.
Two Tongue Theatre is London-based duo, Sharlit Deyzac and Leonor Lemee. Moved by a joyful attraction for what is strange, dark, funny and disturbing, their theatre playfully explores the female experience and combines intense physical performances, multiple languages and audience interaction. Boys Club is Two Tongue’s 3rd show, devised by the company, under the direction of dark clown master Peta Lily.
Writers and Performers Sharlit Deyzac and Leonor Lemee
Director Peta Lilly
Producer Two Tongue Theatre
Performance Dates July 12th 2017, 8pm
Running Time 55 mins
Jackson’s Lane, 269A Archway Rd, Highgate, London N6 5AA