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Boy Parts | Soho Theatre

Boy Parts explores the female gaze, particularly at men in the media, through the eyes, imagination and lens of photographer Irina. The show has meticulously crafted dialogue by Gill Greer, that helps create a rather vivid imagery.


Solo performer Aimeė Kelly does an incredible job, and paints pictures with her delivery. She has a commanding stage presence with an undeniable power in her performance. Her storytelling skills are incredible, her imitations hilarious. Yet it's the unspoken thoughts, conveyed by her body language that pulls at the audience the most (directed by Sara Joyce).


The show utilises lighting (Christopher Nairne) really well, mixing the hard and soft white lighting to best illuminate and define Irina in the moment. The occasional flashes, during the photography shoots, are well-timed and there is a clear experienced eye for this (as someone who studied photography at University, I particularly loved these bits). The use of dark pinks and reds create some rather high tension moments and beautifully haunting scenes.


Sound (Tom Foskett-Barnes) and video/projection (Hayley Egan) also add a lot to the show. From the clever subtle jingle bells of the cat, to the slowed videos of Irina in her studio, they compliment the show well. The set design (Peter Butler) is rather minimalistic, with a single chair and a black backdrop, yet this reminds us of a photography studio so it helps keep the show grounded. The use of black layers denote the complexity of Irina as a person. The project of emails and text messages onto the set is also helpful.

The show does a beautiful job at portraying Irina as an unhinged photographer and woman, teasingly hinting at her dark personality before the complete unravelling of her past. The many conversations and metaphors of the power dynamics between a subject and camera are intelligently written.


Furthermore, the discussion on dismissal of females (both as artists and muses) are enlightening. However the show tries to pack too much into the 120 minutes, and at times feels long. The ending is a bit rushed and loses the momentum that the rest of the show has, and thus is a let down. 


The show both discusses and shows us some distressing and delicate issues, in a more offensive manner. Whilst they enhance the almost inhuman nature of Irina, who appears devoid of empathy towards anyone even herself, they are excessively cold and could be toned down. The constant blunt honestly in her judgements and observations otherwise serve the story well, and is almost refreshing to hear uncensored thoughts.


The show is currently playing at Soho Theatre until the 25th of November. For more information and tickets, you can follow the link here.


⭐️⭐️⭐️


AD | gifted tickets in return for an honest review

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