Review: Boys

Written for Time Out

Boys will be boys. Not since ‘Men Behaving Badly’ has a situation comedy so delighted in the old adage. Ella Hickson’s ‘Boys’ is as funny as the ITV/BBC kidult classic. But it is also a wounded look at a generation who feel the world owes them and know it isn’t going to deliver; a plea for old heroic values in a society run by villains.

Final exams are done and the lease is up on Benny, Mack, Timp and Cam’s flat. But before they go they’re throwing one more drug-fuelled party to launch them into the aggressive adult world. Chloe Lamford’s design creates the perfect conditions for a group teetering on the edge of an explosion. A leaning tower of pizza boxes and months of dirty dishes pile up against see-through Perspex walls with banks of lights behind; this room is both student kitchen and human pressure cooker.

Robert Icke’s cool direction and his cast’s fearless emotional immediacy and tight comic timing add a level of sophistication to this riotous sitcom. Like all the best parties, ‘Boys’ goes on too long. After a spectacular bin bag bust-up the last 20 minutes feel like a drag, tipping into easy sentimentality. Still, don’t let this downer spoil a quality production that will leave you with laughter lines and troubled thoughts.

Runs until 16 June.