Review: Boy’s Club, Jacksons Lane Theatre

Among the hills and leafy streets of north London, lies the aptly named Jacksons Lane Theatre, a charitable arts and cultural venue which showcases contemporary performances. This intimate venue seems like a community hub with the entrance littered with sofas and noticeboards of local classes and events. It’s not surprising that it is home to the three week Postcards festival, a selection of shows ranging from circus to Shakespeare to cabaret. Each show is Pay What You Can, meaning that going to a show has virtually no risk attached.

Founded in 2013, Two Tongue Theatre, the brainchild of Sharlit Deyzac and Leonor Lemee is a London-based bilingual theatre company that explores the female experience. Two Tongue Theatre’s third show, Boy’s Club, can loosely be described as a drag king cabaret gone wrong. Two underpaid actresses find themselves struggling to get work in the theatre and so must pass as men in order to continue to do what they love. Very rarely do I get to see show’s like Boy’s Club, shows that defy description and are hard to explain using classic theatre lingo.

80’s soft rock tunes blast the audience as Lemee and Deyzac strut on stage. The on-stage chemistry between the pair, as they play ‘lads’ Jules and Joe, is sublime as each actress delivers macho, lewd dialogue which manages to be simultaneously witty and cringe-worthy. Lemee and Deyzac continue to delight/shock audiences with a series of songs, dances, gyrations and audience interaction – most memorable of which being the seducing of individual audience members with some of the worst chat-up lines known to humankind. Jules and Joe’s debauchery continues until an unforeseen circumstance forces them to rethink their show in the second half.

The 55 minute show is incredibly fast-paced and physical as well as half of it being in French. Despite not speaking a word of French the facial expressions and tones of Lemee and Deyzac meant that I could understand what was happening. The sudden flips between English and French only add to the humour, particularly in the second half after things start to go awry. Aside from the comic timing and delivery, the stand-out element of the show is the costumes. The onstage costume changes are funny themselves and are incorporated into the show meaning that the audience never feels like they are waiting. Deyzac and Lemee impressively maintain the energy throughout their performance so at no point does it feel as if it is dragging. Overall the show is entertaining and funny, though definitely for adult audiences only due to the sexual themes.

Boy’s Club was performed as part of Postcards which is running at Jackson’s Lane Theatre until July 19.