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Previewed 26 September 2012, Opened 4 October 2012, Closed 15 December 2012 at the Duchess Theatre in London
A major revival of Jonathan Lewis' play Our Boys in London featuring Matthew Lewis, Laurence Fox and Arthur Darvill and directed by David Grindley.
Set in the Queen Elizabeth Military Hospital during the spring of 1984 where five young soldiers are killing nothing but time as they recover from injuries incurred in the line of duty. Suddenly, their daily routine of TV, lonely hearts ads and banter is shattered by the arrival of a young officer. Jonathan Lewis's Our Boys is based on the author's own army experience.
"Jonathan Lewis delves into the small world of a group of squaddies being treated in a military hospital. Beneath the boisterous banter and endless wind-ups, there's a well-founded terror that their army life is over. Loyalty is all, so a betrayal, when it occurs, is deeply disturbing... The performances are spot-on in David Grindley's crisp production, from Cian Barry's sardonic Keith to Arthur Darvill's Parry, who fears he will end up dossing on the Embankment. Laurence Fox's Joe is too often saddled with being the author's mouthpiece, but when he's allowed to let rip, he comes out with all guns blazing." The Sunday Times
"A quarter of a century ago, a tough, gritty drama about soldiers recovering from their wounds in a military hospital might perhaps have been considered cutting- edge... Civvies and soldiers alike, however, have to spend time in hospitals and I doubt that there are many readers who haven't experienced something of it and know that it is almost always pretty horrible. Jonathan Lewis's Our Boys therefore needed to have something new or insightful to say about the human condition if it were to have much of a hope of engaging our attention, but it is, alas, nothing more than the usual run around the hospital beds. Situations that might have been mildly amusing are played out at such inteminable length that they become tiring. It isn't sure, either, if it is a comedy or a tragedy." The Sunday Telegraph
"As much as anything, it's about killing time... Most of the banter is as coarse as sandpaper: bowel trouble and circumcision provide ample scope for lots of Carry On-style comedy. But there's also a sense of just how vulnerable these bedridden men are. The cast is terrific, especially Laurence Fox, who is more coiled with anger than any of the others. A survivor of an IRA bombing, his closing monologue is a devastating glimpse of the iceberg of pain that lies beneath the men's visible wounds. The play is full of compassion and humour... David Grindley directs with piercing insight into tenderness and rivalries on the ward. This is a funny, sorrowful vening, and an admirably on-tub-thumping comment on how cruelly injured soldiers become surplus to requirements having laid their lives on the line. It's as shamefully true today as it ever was." The Mail on Sunday
Our Boys was originally staged by the Soho Theatre Company at the Cockpit Theatre in North West London in May 1993 before being staged in the West End at the Donmar Warehouse two years later.
Our Boys in London at the Duchess Theatre previewed from 26 September 2012, opened on 4 October 2012 and closes on 15 December 2012.