Review: Boy in Darkness, Blue Elephant Theatre

“Tinged with sweetness and menace…”

Tucked away in the black box of the Blue Elephant, itself tucked away in the Oval/Camberwell borders is the nightmarish fantastical world of Boy in Darkness. Conjured from the solo storytelling prowess of Gareth Murphy, who also adapted the piece from Mervyn Peake’s novella, it’s an alluringly spellbinding piece of physical theatre that receives a thoughtful production here from John Walton and one which ought to fire even the most jaded of imaginations. It is worth noting too the special relationship between this venue and Peake’s work, this being the third that they have staged in recent years.

Boy in Darkness’ protagonist is a 14 year old teenager straining against the boundaries of his life but once he escapes them, he finds himself tumbling into a surreal and strange new world populated with mysterious characters that demands huge resourcefulness. Not just from Boy, but from Murphy too as he creates and distinguishes each new persona with real skill – the chilling bleating and obsequious attention of the Goat and the preening arrogance of the Hyena really stood out for me – the elegance and economy of movement almost hypnotic to watch.  Continue reading “Review: Boy in Darkness, Blue Elephant Theatre”