Review: The Boss of it all

Stage

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Jack McNamara deftly adapts Von Trier’s The Boss Of It All, the hit Danish comedy of 2006, for stage in this witty and engaging production. The run time of just over an hour is dexterously handled and the piece never drags. Davies, Honey and McNamara have cultivated dynamic characters, which are ably portrayed by the skilled cast.

Cameron Cook is brilliant as the hilarious ‘Kristoffer’, the failing actor hired to pretend to be company boss, his face contorting into expressions not possible for most of us. Cook’s energy on stage is particularly notable and, though there are perhaps too few dimensions to his character, Cook has the audience enthralled throughout. His physicality is also impressive, never once letting up the stiff poise of a character who carries the play swiftly forwards on his perfectly postured shoulders.

Dina Tsesarsky has the audience in fits of laughter with her depiction of the highly lovable ‘Mette’. Tsesarsky’s weeping, wailing and wooing, each coloured with equal desperation, provide humour throughout and her zeal for dancing in the office party scene deserves special mention.

The audience ‘participation’ in the final scene of the production, which sees the fourth wall broken and the audience referred to as the employees of the company, seems a little random and clumsy and the audience fail to clap and cheer on the cue given to them by Chisnall. However, this does not affect the audience experience to any obvious extent as the inherently intimate nature of the Burton Taylor Studio ensures each theatre goer already feels adequately ‘involved’ in the action.

Jack Chinsall was convincing as the sweet but ultimately money driven and cowardly boss of the company ‘Ravn’. However, Chinsall suffered somewhat from the arbitrary gimmicks which cropped up throughout the play and cheapened his performance somewhat- such as the dropping of confetti to represent his first tears or popping his head through the motivational poster on the wall.

The voice over, by David Meredith, is amusing and helps ensure smooth transition between scenes, though it is possibly overused and less witty than the remainder of the production. Nonetheless, the use of puppetry, a novel feature within the adaptation, is very effective. Offering a more original source of humour, Davies himself operates the puppet ‘Nalle’, which certainly works on differing levels.

The audience laugh comfortably throughout Davies’ clever production, and McNamara’s adaptation is innovative and vibrant while still channelling the gentle-natured humour of the original film efficiently. The vivid character creation is the stand out selling point of this production, on at the Burton Taylor Studio all this week.

The Boss of it all is playing at the Burton Taylor Studio from the 10th- 14th February