Beautiful Burnout review at Arts Depot London
Hot from a successful worldwide tour, Frantic Assembly and National Theatre of Scotland’s Beautiful Burnout is back and it’s pulling no punches.
Beautiful Burnout follows five boxers as they transform from ordinary street nobodies to masters of the ring. Bryony Lavery’s story feels predictable but she never moralises, although she does question the sport’s merits.
Lavery’s sharp use of language interrogates the potential glamour inherent within this gladiatorial sport with expletive-laden monologues that carry tones of religious devotion. This sense of nobility versus violence is mirrored in Scott Graham and Steven Hoggett’s ritualistic movement sequences, thrillingly performed against the pumping orchestrations of Underworld.
The cast are at their physical peak and there is a palpable sense of bodies being pushed to their limits. Julie Wilson Nimmo brings a level of emotional connection to her role as terrified parent but on the whole Lavery’s lightly sketched characters give this cast little to play with in terms of emotional muscle.
Even so, Beautiful Burnout is a holistic feast for the senses and a pertinent look into the dynamic world of amateur and pro boxing.
Arts Depot, London, October 16-October 19, then touring until December 1
- Bryony Lavery
- Scott Graham, Steven Hoggett
- Frantic Assembly, National Theatre of Scotland
- Cast includes
- Margaret Ann Bain, Julie Wilson Nimmo, Keith Fleming, Taqi Nazeer, Stuart Ryan
- Running time
- 1hr 30mins