Best-selling writer and comedian Eddy Brimson brings to life Joe in his one-man play Naughty Boy at the Edinburgh Fringe this year. From my understanding, it has been set in a psychiatric hospital. Where nurses are serving the wards rather than prison officers in the environment in which he is now living in.
Much of the dialogue is lyrical and you become entranced by the beauty of the words explaining some of the most horrendous events that take place during Joe’s lifetime. The imagery and descriptions of the cat which is run over are very intense but beautifully bought to life at the same time.
One such event that happens in a Tube station changes Joe’s life for good. The stabbing of Keith, Joe’s long-standing mate fuels anger and hatred. The scene erupts as the group Joe is with become part of an angry and violent fight. Resulting in Joe attacking and possibly pushing the bloke referred to as “Ratty” under the train! Whether he did or not is for the audience to decide. The matter of fact tone and excitement in the voice of Joe is in danger of sounding like this happens every day.
Through the eyes and words of Joe violence is freedom. Pure abandonment as the fighting and chaos fuels adrenaline and awakens his spirit. The danger is through his eyes and outlook on life violence is acceptable and as much a part of his life as doing the weekly shop! Making him a truly dangerous man.
The wonderfully interwoven words and imagery Brimson use moves the play along at a fast pace. Taking you on a moving journey. Joe’s behaviour is both disturbing and concerning as he normalises the darker side where parts of society exist and one in which we hope never to meet.
Joe describes the world in a brutal but accurate analysis. We are all naughty at some time during our lives and guilty of something! Just how far do you go through? We brush shoulders with every character described within the play at some point during our lives we just don’t realise it or know who these characters are.
With some alarming scenes, Naughty Boy is not for the faint-hearted. It is certainly worth the gritty and emotional rollercoaster ride though. After all “the world does not owe us a living” and it’s definitely a tough ride at times!