A Man, a Boy, and a Woman grapple with the abyss of loss.
Themes of migration, identity, and the quest to belong come together beautifully in this play as we observe how the hundreds of little things people feel, say and do aggregate into the days of our lives.
The story unfolds on a bus journey from an unnamed country, where an older man and a young boy escape their past, searching for a new beginning in a bustling city. Their lives intersect with a young woman grappling with her own trauma, leading to a moving exploration of identity, resilience, and human connection over a span of 70 minutes.
The Boy resonates profoundly because of its raw human-ness
It's about one of those rare moments where social constructs crumble, paving the way for a shared humanity to emerge amidst adversity. The portrayal of solidarity among the characters is powerful, stirring a heartwarming realization that in times of loss and hardship, even complete strangers evoke feelings of kinship and care, devoid of any other reason but the shared plight.
The Boy is crafted with layers of suspense and mystery
And even better, the performance delicately peels back the layers of who these characters are and how they found themselves in their current predicament at a pace of revelation is just right, tying up most loose ends in the end but still leaving some questions unresolved...(which upon reflection, drives home the message that perhaps, some things shouldn’t matter).
The narrative leaves you with a reflective thought: life unfolds with its blend of controllable and uncontrollable events, yet the choice to make the best out of the given circumstances always resides within. Further, the play brings to light the struggles of a minority refugee "family" integrating into a new society while maintaining their dignity. It challenges the sentiment of dependency, portraying the characters as valuable individuals capable of contributing positively to their host country.
Eve von Elgg who portrays the "boy" deserves a special mention for their exceptional performance, bringing a blend of innocence, curiosity, and resilience to the character.
Watched October 2023 at Soho Theatre, London