The Belgrade Theatre brings another premiere to Coventry. This time it is an adaptation of the coming of age book, Ostrich Boys by Keith Gray.
Three friends, Kenny, Sim and Blake are struggling to come to terms with the unexpected death of their friend Ross. After a funeral which they feel is less than fitting for their best mate, they decide to embark on a journey to give Ross a proper send off; they will take Ross to Ross in Scotland. During the adventure we find out more about the people in Ross’s life while the boys find out more about themselves.
Narration is provided by the boys as they slip in and out of the adventure to tell the story of what happened. Flashback moments are shown with the four boys playing all of the characters to great effect. Shea Davis is Ross who is ever present in the background watching his friends and taking part in the flashbacks. Davis, Fred Haig (Blake) and Carl Au (Sim) all portray a group of girls that are met on the way. These characters are beautifully observed.
With the slightest change of posture and a look you have no trouble seeing three teenage girls. Moments like this add a humour to what could be a dark tale. The sensible Blake is contrasted with assertive Sim and the nervous Kenny (Faaiz Mbelizi), all are perfectly cast and give wonderful performances.
With minimal props and staging almost everything comes from the four actors. An interesting use of movement and music adds even more interest and an extra dynamic to the performance. There are some inspired staging moments which create stunning visuals while adding to the narrative.
This is a superb production that will make you smile while also making you think. Ostrich Boys runs until Saturday 24 September, it would be a shame to miss it. This pride of Ostrich’s will leave you wanting more.
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