The Owl and Cat Theatre’s second season of 2016 starts this week with the first of a seven-play run, ‘The Boys Club’. Under the new vision of artistic director Thomas Ian Doyle, the season promises to be bring us theatrical works that are edgy and challenging. The plays are meant to confront the audience and provoke discussion around topical social issues.
Thomas himself wrote ‘The Boys Club’. My plus one and I made our way to Richmond, home of one of my favourite independent theatre venues in Melbourne, to check it out on opening night.
The setting is a warehouse in a concrete family, somewhere in contemporary Australia. Fittingly, the theatre itself is going through renovations. Along with great props and set design, and the very intimate atmosphere, it felt very real. The boys in question are the coworkers. Newcomer Asher is given the task of catering for their annual company party. He blows the $6000 budget on drugs, beer, and a stripper. Waking up from their intoxicated stupor to find a dead body, a frivolous party with a bunch of mates turns quickly sombre.
While the setup and characters easily makes us to the party and drug culture amongst youth so often brought up in media, the plot escalates relentlessly into a crime thriller with new characters being drawn into a a dire situation that you know from the start cannot end well. This is a play for those who prefer fast-moving plots to introspective psychological thrillers. We both felt it aimed to bring to the stage a fast-moving tense story in the likes of an early Tarantino or a Cohen brothers film.
It’s always a treat to see what The Owl and Cat are putting on, and once again we left with plenty to discuss. We look forward to checking out what other stories this new season has in store.
Christian G. is an international man of mystery, lover of books, cats and the performing arts; moonlighting as a finance professional by day.
‘The Boys Club‘ runs 19th to 23rd April, at 8pm (Sat 4pm). Running Time: 80min. Adult themes. The venue is accessible.
Disclosure: The Plus Ones were invited guests of The Owl & Cat Theatre.