The Boy Friend

Ah, I always enjoy watching the English parody the French. It’s like imitating your sister, the one you don’t like, behind her back. The same thing happens when common South Easterners play ‘Posh’. Both results, if done well, deliver hyperbolic comedic genius. Despite the title, The Boy Friend, a candy-floss-flavoured musical set in Charleston-era Cote d’Azur, is all about becoming an English Lady while wishing you were actually French, their lassez faire sensibilities far more enticing than the buttoned-up, stiff upper-lippery of the elder generation. You’ve probably seen some variation on the story before – girl’s too rich for boy, girl pretends to be poor, singing, dancing and hijinks ensue! The Boy Friend trades on the principle that Heat has been peddling for yonks – if you don’t have a boyfriend, you’d best pretend to be someone else to get one.

The Brighton Little Theatre lives up to its name by being wee and a show this rompy must leave plenty of space for high kicks and jazz hands. Excellent set and costume design gives the space an Art Deco holiday feel, immediately transporting the audience to a prettier, pastel-bonbon-coloured time. Encased inside this candy-coated exterior is a brace of fine performances, although some more confidently asserted than others; Brighton AmDram stalwart Patti Griffiths is faultless as the floaty Mme Dubonnet while Hannah Clarke’s peppy, plummy Maisie frequently steals scenes with her smirky confidence.

One highlight is ‘It’s Never Too Late to Fall in Love’, where a lecherous sexagenarian Lord Brockhurst (Gerry Wicks) tries to convince doll-faced Dulcie (Bethany Preston) to try something ‘a bit older’ – after all, she sings, ‘the old wine tastes much nicer!’ Funnily enough, one elderly gentlemen took this as encouragement to ask my friend for her picture in the bar – proving once again that some stereotypes have a basis in reality.

The show goes into a slight coma, unfortunately, whenever the romantic leads appear – both Polly and Tony’s voices are drowned out by the small band and while they’re both perfectly adorable, there are moments of mutual hesitation. But dissing this show would be like kicking a puppy – pointless and sad. Sweet, energetic and pacey, it’s all camp as Christmas in Cliff Richard’s dressing room at the Villa Caprice – a perfect intro to top-notch community theatre you should get out and support if the mood takes you.

Reviews by Amy Holtz

Laughing Horse @ The Quadrant

Feminism for Chaps

Brighton Spiegeltent

An Evening of Americana Music

Komedia - Main Space

Red Bastard

Marlborough Theatre

Thief by Liam Rudden

Laughing Horse @ Caroline of Brunswick

Abigoliah Schamaun is Working on It

The Warren: Main House

The Bloody Ballad


Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

The Blurb

It’s the French Riviera in the 1920s. Heiress Polly loves Tony, a delivery boy. She fears that he may be a fortune hunter so pretends to be poorer than she is, not knowing that Tony is pretending too. Things get complicated - but a happy ending is in store in this merry musical!

Most Popular See More


From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £12.00

More Info

Find Tickets


From £29.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mamma Mia!

From £18.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Lion King

From £36.00

More Info

Find Tickets