Review by Jaimee Beck
As we take our seats at the less-dodgy-than-I-remember Basement’s studio, I become aware of two things; the somewhat too cold air-con, and the fact that 10pm on a Thursday is quite honestly past my bedtime these days. This is my first Fuq Boiz show, but the largely indie audience tells me to expect a night of irony and postmodern humour.
Opening with satanic flagellation, Fuq Boiz Forever takes you (literally) to hell and back, exploring male friendships, jealousy, confusion, advertorials and some really fucked up shit. I’m sure there’s some deep socio-political commentary, but after an hour of fast paced absurdity and lo-fi special effects I can’t remember, and it doesn’t seem important. What is important are the ways the Fuq Boiz play off each other, taking turns to push and pull the story through the lens of their respective characters.
Bizarre and confrontational, Hamish Parkinson’s frenetic physical comedy and boggle eyed stares create more nervous energy than the room knows what to do with. The audience avoids eye contact with him like sinners at a sermon. We’re all afraid of becoming a prop in the next awkwardly intense skit.
Ryan Richards on the other hand, is calm and charming. Right up until he descends into gibbering madness. Actually even then, headless doll in hand, he’s still charming. His apparent sincerity draws the audience in, keeping us onside because we just really, really want everything to be okay for him.
The Fuq Boiz really want us to like them. They kick through the 4th wall to connect with us, inviting us into their surrealist storytelling. Hamish’s tendency to involve the audience in a terrifyingly intimate way has us collectively holding our breath until the tension becomes too much, and short barks of laughter punctuate their patter.
The show comes full circle. The lights go up. The stage is a mess. We stumble out past enthusiastically offered issues of a local rag, and I once again become aware of something; that I have absolutely no idea what I just watched.
What the fuq, boiz?
What: Fuq Boiz Forever
When: 8-11 May
Where: Basement Theatre – Studio