On 25th October, Lewis Doherty brought his one-man show BOAR to Leicester’s fabulous Curve Theatre. 

I was blown away by this one-man contemporary play! Doherty seamlessly portrays multiple, distinct characters throughout the performance, and is truly a fantastic actor. 

Lewis Doherty used his incredible yet hilariously over-dramatic body movements and positions to captivate the audience. He produced live sound effects with his mouth to create a scene and to set a specific tone to start the play. 

This dark, comedic fantasy performance is a minimalistic, action-packed play that presents a story of a twisted fairy-tale. Set in the brutish land of Skadi. Doherty effortlessly tells a tragic, but heroic story of ‘Boar’ and his female-empowering, if not slightly temperamental and violent friend Yilfa. Yilfa and many others present the story of their adventure to seek revenge on those who have wronged them and to also save the princess from a terrifying dragon.

The way that Doherty used limited pre-recorded sound effects and music, and how he used light to create a mood was interesting to me as it gained a great reaction from the audience, either laughter or palpable surprise. 

This backwards take on a play was inspiring- using no props, no costumes and limited sound. The way that he made each of his characters individually funny and personalised them by only using his voice is not a common feature in modern films or plays. 

 Photography by Pamela Raith

How he cleverly used different accents and sound effects to define and mark each of his characters avoided confusing the audience. I did not feel that I was watching a one-man play, rather that I was watching a whole cast of different actors perform on stage.

Doherty used his cheeky, playful humour to engage the audience, and break the fourth wall. He addressed how his characters had to skip a part of their quest because ‘there’s only so much you can do in an hour.’ 

He played upon the stereotypes of the upper class, royalty and women – but never offensively. 

However, I was confused by the way he used this kind of comedy – that was possibly targeted towards a certain, younger demographic – and thought that these cruder jokes may not have been suited to the audience that I was sat with. As they were mainly elderly or upper-class people. Yet, the audience responded rather positively, and almost laughed at his more ‘modern’ and darker jokes, despite my doubts.

I would recommend watching this play – I think that the one-man performance has something in it for everyone. It has the perfect amount of comedy, action and darkness all wrapped up in Doherty’s individual, unique portrayal of his story, without leaving the audience feeling bored or confused.