Boxman

Boxman, the eponymous star of this one man show, is a lad, no doubt about it. For all his neurosis and Mummy issues, he is a lad. He likes drugs and drinking and one night stands. He is handsome, buff, and has an accent that would turn this heterosexual reviewer over in a heart beat. So why does he try to half-heartedly convince us that he is a loser? Why does he pine for us to feel for his plight? And here lies the flaw with this regularly funny, always well performed, slightly slack-jawed show.

Boxman is a fun hour and, with a little more variation and consideration, could be another hit for Murray.

Writer and performer Ruaraidh Murray is clearly a talented man. There's an air of Charles Bukowski about him and his achingly honest descriptions of an average life lived by an average Joe. But whilst the world he inhabits feels real, everything else seems forced. Murray appears to search for taboos, most of them based around working class stereotypes (midnight shopping at a 24 hour ASDA, work drinks at the local Wetherspoons, or cock gags), to evoke a response. And, unlike Bukowski, his descriptions of this world we live in don't go far enough to give it a magical, ethereal quality. Instead of seeing the ordinary as extraordinary, Boxman just sees ordinary. Of course, this is probably the point and Boxman is an every man with every man problems (an occasionally dildo problems) - but with nothing at stake in this bland world it's hard to care.

All this is almost saved, however, by Murray's spirited performance. Although some of his worries are banal (leaving the gas on, for example) Murray attacks them with a wide-eyed, bouncy wonder which is amusing and warming. The most successful parts of the show are when Boxman, a worried lad in a big city, has to converse with any member of the public - his insecurities whirling around inside his head, his male ego telling him to grow a pair and the two coming together to form a hilarious non sequitur that baffles the receiver and delights the audience. An amusing scene early on in which Boxman has to ask a man to move so he can buy a bunch of bananas is a good indicator of what this show could have been had it strived a little harder.

Boxman is a fun hour and, with a little more variation and consideration, could be another hit for Murray.

Reviews by Andy Currums

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Performances

Location

The Blurb

Nobody puts Boxman in the corner! A new dark comedy from the creator of the critically acclaimed shows Big Sean, Mikey and Me and Bath Time: 'Quentin Tarantino meets Irvine Welsh. Very funny' **** (Scotsman). 'Firecracker of a show' **** (Herald). 'Murray's bravura performance' **** (Metro). 'Must see!' (Stage).