Holden Street Theatres, from 28 February 2021
Review – Geoff Jenke
Tom is 8, cheeky and out of control. Mum’s inherited coping mechanisms don’t work and for a boy who “isn’t bad enough to be diagnosed”, there is no support. Change is unmanageable in a crisis so now it’s survival. For Sarah there must be light at the end of the tunnel, at any cost. Parenting is hard, there is no rule book, no one is perfect, she gave birth to him so she knows best and he knows she loves him, she told him so.
The play, well monologue, was taken from real life stories and developed by Martha Lott with Lyn Pike and Anne Brookman. Martha Lott delivers the monologue as mom, while cleaning up “that boy’s” bedroom. The bed is unmade, toys everywhere, especially Lego but as the hour goes by, the room becomes tidy and “together”, all the while as mum hopes her life with Tom can come together.
That Boy is confronting, sometimes uncomfortable to watch, while challenging the audience to question what is acceptable in today’s changing world. But through it all, the pain, the heart break and bad behaviour, there is always love.
And that is something to hang on to.