Boxman, a one-man show which affords a look at the life of a recovering alcoholic with OCD tendencies, seems rich in potential for ‘dark comedy’, as billed. But although the performance is undoubtedly passionate and the writing assured, it felt to me as if the ‘dark’ bits and the ‘comedy’ bits were hastily set against the purposefully repetitive back-drop of Boxman’s troubled routine as an attempt to intensify or lift the tone. Which, I’m afraid, they didn’t.

This is the journey of a desperate middle-aged man who tries to get over the demise of his relationship by getting a job at ASDA. Boxman is not confident, Boxman does not know how to talk to ladies, Boxman gets his hand wanked on in an improbable aisle incident. Such a hapless, vulnerable character and yet I just didn’t feel for him, and I don’t think his world hangs together coherently enough for any audience to either.

The events which serve to unfold Boxman’s story don’t really galvanise the pace or facilitate sensitive reveals – they feel oddly flat, and for a performance that relies so utterly on the nuances of one person’s interior and exterior world, I thought this really missed a trick.
Words: Kate Evans

Boxman, Gilded Balloon, Jul 30 – Aug 25, 16:15

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