There’s not a dull moment in this sixty-minute performance filled with an infectious energy. Two Tongue Theatre presents a cleverly devised satire, which instead of using old humour against men, is able to captivate the audience right through to the last moments, revealing an important political stance yet without all the seriousness. Whether its misogynist men, sluts, or insane women, expect a French-British outlook on the reality of discrimination, a reality existing within our boardrooms, and on our stages.
Boy’s Club premiered at Voila Festival 2016, and has been touring London since, now performing at Jackson’s Lane Theatre. Bilingual Jules and Joe are played by Sharlit Deyzac and Leonor Lemee, both bilingual actors here to entertain. With the dream of £500, smart suit, and man jeans on, whatever geezer you want, Jules and Joe will portray.
An hour of boisterous antics are promised, “Call the cops someone’s stolen my heart”. Line after each pick-up line, the audience roar, wink and cheer, you can’t help but dread a night in the company with one of these lads.
Deyzac and Lemee channel masculine energy to a point that any inherent female trait is forgotten, from French romance to an accident misplay of gypsy jazz, a parody you think cannot get any funnier. That is until period pants appear. Jules and Joe are replaced with Mona & Lisa. Here we have two familiar yet distinct images. And it is during this switch that these leading ladies propel Boy’s Club to a different level of genius. Making a valid point and exposing ‘gender fraud’, the audience are invited to fight their cause; in reality an existing problem affecting most homes.
Performances from both artists are outstanding, not something easily achieved. Whether it’s in drag or running up down stairs in stilettos, there isn’t enough praise for this charming yet effective activist piece.
Overall, as collaborators in both script and performance, they achieve a subtlety, revealed through their on-stage chemistry that, despite making you squirm, never reaches into the voice of preaching.
Under the direction of Peta Lily, the dance sequences turn this play into an action packed cabaret. Her focus on energy and the moments in which movement drives the story to its end, reveals her talent, enabling well-rounded performance to amplify the script.
There are many quotes that stick with you as the night passes; whether it’s masculine dolls representing sexual predators such as Polanski, or being robbed by ‘gender fraud’, or reigniting #paygap, Boy’s Club isn’t something you will easily forget.
In the final scene, Mona’s desperate act moves this production to a different level. It’s not something you expect, and it’s not something you expect of this character, but as she satirically puts, “it’s our time of the month”. Repetition of global attacks are etched in our minds, day after day, and this final moment of insanity magnifies a gender-based reality.
Two Tongue Theatre questions the lack of female roles, but collectively Boy’s Club is a manifestation of one sex trailing behind the other.