Sunday, 23 September 2018

The Boy, George - Melbourne Fringe Festival review

The year is 2028 and it's been six days since the Queen died. King Charles is privately mourning her death, seemingly ignoring the fact that the monarchy's reign is about to be overthrown by the House of Commons. But 14-year-old Prince George has a few tricks up his sleeve to save the monarchy and ensure his rightful place as the future King.

Written and performed by Patrick Livesey, The Boy, George is a queer and satirical look at privilege, power, the struggle to hold on to it and what happens when the tables turn, and it's all fabulously seen through the eyes of the now 14-year-old Prince. The set and costume designs consist of a few select pieces that tell us all that we need to know about George; there is a chaise longue that he reclines on while wearing his pink pyjamas, pink robe and pink slippers. On the table next to him, incense burns with three framed photos of his 'Gods': The Queen, Princess Diana and his mother Kate.

While George adores these women, he has nothing but contempt for the men in his life. He sees them as weak minded and inept, so it's all fallen on his shoulders to save the monarchy. He attempts to record a video urging the citizens of England to retain the status quo, but for a number of reasons he is unable to complete this, partly because his thoughts turns to a fellow classmate at Eton College on whom he has a crush on.
 
Livesey does a remarkable job in bringing this fictitious story of a living person to the stage. He finds great balance in showing that despite being a future King, George also happens to be a teenager who wants to talk about boys and Instagram. His use of the Queen's English along with the vocabulary and expressions that a bratty teen would use is consistent, authentic and a delight to hear. Livesey's performance is committed the entire time and it's evident he is comfortable being George, even ad libbing with audience members at various moments during the show. 

Unfortunately I did have to miss the last 10 minutes as technical difficulties meant the show started 15 minutes late. However, of the 40 minutes I did see, The Boy, George is an engaging and imaginative study on power and privilege. It's a brilliant first solo piece by Livesey with some strong character work.

Click here for my interview with Patrick Livesey.

Show Information 

Venue: Errol's & Co, 69-71 Errol St, North Melbourne.
Season: Until 25 September | Sun - Tues 9:30pm
Length: 50 minutes 
Tickets: $24 Full | $20 Conc
Bookings: Melbourne Fringe Festival

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