Tuesday, February 10, 2009

'The Newspaper Boy' @ The Deaf Institute

(Suranne Jones with writer Chris Hoyle on the set of the new play The Newspaper Boy. Pic by Steve Allen)

Writer/director Chris Hoyle's debut play has enjoyed full houses for it's 3 day run at The Deaf Institute on Grosvenor Street (just off Oxford Road, near MMU). I'd never been to this venue before, and I thought it was absolutely fantastic; a beautifully decorated gothic splendour of a place. The story of a 15 year old tv actor whose career is ruined after he has a love affair with an older man, played like a (much) superior version of a John Godber comedy. William Rush played the title role with astonishing skill. I had thought he must have been a much older actor chosen for his youthful looks, and was amazed when told (by his father, who had been sitting next to me) that he was actually only 14. Crikey!! And what a challenging part to play, with several scenes depicting him in bed with an older man, and dialogue containing some choice sexual themes. Coronation Street star Suranne Jones (most recently seen in the ITV thriller 'Unforgiven') was a delight as the hyperactive mother, and perfectly complimented by a wonderful Joan Kempson as the dotty grandma. Scenes between these two were played with expert comic timing, and had much of the audience in stitches. This was a fine piece of writing that never put a foot wrong. On this evidence, Chris Hoyle has a great future, and William Rush could be a major talent. An absolute triumph of a production.