10:54 | 20th April 2019

Reviews: Live Shows

Mon 26 Jan, 2015
By Robert Ingham

This is ATS at their very best, and I implore you to book your tickets

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The Boys Upstairs - Theatre Review

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Above The Stag’s 2015 Season is off to a flying start with the UK premiere of the terrific comedy ‘The Boys Upstairs’, a real rib-tickler that will have you crying with laughter.

Set in the New York apartment of Josh and Seth, two best friends who are awaiting their other best friend Ashley’s arrival to celebrate his birthday. Ashley has been away in Paris for a year and it’s time for them to reconnect on a ‘boy’s night out’. However, everything is thrown into disarray when sexy new neighbour, Eric, moves in downstairs.

But is he gay or straight?

Whilst this question could have been easily solved, it would have ended up a very different play, and would not have showcased the genuine comedic talents of the cast. Every single cast member brings writer Jason Mitchell’s cracking script, which is strewn with awesome and relatable one-liners, to hilarious and sparkling life. It is laugh-out-loud throughout, and just when you think your funny bone can’t be tickled any more, you’ll find yourself grinning again, wondering if your face muscles will ever stop aching.

Simon Walton plays nerdy Josh with perfect comic timing. Stanley Eldridge (Seth) has some wonderful facial expressions, and his bedroom confession is pure gold, whilst Joe Leather nails the character of the promiscuous, but loveable, Ashley. The three best mates bring such an infectious energy you just cannot help but wish you were out with them. If only for just one night. And Daniel Gracia (Eric) is simply dreamy. The moment he enters there is something endearing and puppy-dog-like about him. Who cares if he’s gay or straight? He’s hot!

All other characters are impressively played by Hugh O’Donnell, who is a like a chameleon, playing a great range of one night stands. Keep your eyes and ears open for Gabie, a character that will have you gasping for air and make you realise you know far more musical theatre than you think. Hats off to him for his scene-stealing moment.

Above The Stag have excelled themselves with ‘The Boys Upstairs’. Director Andrew Beckett has shown a real understanding of the script and what his audience want, and this is a perfect vehicle to show off his skills, especially when it comes to the incredibly funny scene where Eric passes out, leaving Josh and Ashley to be less than appropriate. The intimacy of the venue also adds to the joy this play creates as it feels you have been invited into their living room, and therefore able to see all the nuances and expressions.

This is ATS at their very best, and I implore you to book your tickets, especially as it only runs till 19th February before ‘Bathhouse: The Musical’ returns. I guarantee you will leave with a spring in your step and your jaw aching. It’s sweet, riotous, and has a wicked sense of humour. A top class evening. SEE IT!!!

‘The Boys Upstairs’ is on at Above The Stag Theatre, Arch 17, Miles Street, Vauxhall, SW8 1RZ.


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