Review: Silo Theatre's Boys Will Be Boys

Amanda Billing as Astrid (Andi Crown Photography)
Amanda Billing as Astrid (Andi Crown Photography)

"The real difference between men and the worlds they get to live in."

And when one tries to inhabit the other's, things get messy.

Boys Will Be Boys is a dark, funny look at the power dynamics of gender, race and money.

Australian playwright Melissa Bubnic uses a high-stakes stockbroking firm as the backdrop for exploring these themes.

Astrid (Amanda Billing) is a lone female survivor at the upper levels of the company, which she sees as a victory in a world where everything is stacked against her.

When she takes on young protégé Priya (Vanessa Kumar), it becomes clear how difficult and problematic her situation is: by occupying a "male" role, Astrid is becoming the same kind of person she has fought so hard against for her entire career.

Review: Silo Theatre's Boys Will Be Boys

The company of Silo Theatre's Boys Will Be Boys (Andi Crown Photography)

Under the direction of Sophie Roberts, Boys Will Be Boys is a heady whirlwind, anchored by Billing who ploughs through the verbose script with convincing bolshiness, even if she didn’t quite wrap her mouth around all the rapid-fire dialogue.

Her sultry cabaret exposes a more reflective side of Astrid, and drips with bitterness.

Among her co-stars - who don't quite match Billing in rhythmic and vocal prowess where the music is concerned - Jodie Rimmer shines as the insightful prostitute Isabelle, who is something of a refreshing voice of reason among the madness.

Review: Silo Theatre's Boys Will Be Boys

Jodie Rimmer (L) and Amanda Billing (R) (Andi Crown Photography)

To many of us, Bubnic's characters may seem wildly exaggerated, yet it is not such a stretch of the imagination to believe that for some people, this is not far from their reality.

Boys Will Be Boys is incisive and - given we see high-profile examples of such gender-based power dynamics in the media on a regular basis (the Chiefs' stripper scandal, anyone?) - well worth our consideration.

Boys Will Be Boys, Q Theatre Auckland, until September 24.


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