Get our free email newsletter with just one click

The Bogus Woman review at Clapham Omnibus, London – ‘moving, powerful and disturbing’

Krissi Bohn in The Bogus Woman at Clapham Omnibus. Photo: Mathew Foster Krissi Bohn in The Bogus Woman at Clapham Omnibus. Photo: Mathew Foster

Make no mistake, this is a grim play that concentrates on the very lowest depths of human nature and heaps the consequences all over one poor soul, who happens to be the heroine of this play.

Practically everyone the nameless Young Woman encounters falls into the martyr or devil category – except for the ones she mistakes as angelic, who then swiftly decline.

One complaint is that the endless procession of nasty people seem almost pantomime in their wickedness, such as the Interrogator; disbelieving, sarcastic and flippant as she grills the Young Woman about the murder of her immediate family and her subsequent gang rape.

Much of the content of the play is shocking and horrific and, for anyone whose idea of injustice is being overcharged at the supermarket, all the baby bayonetting and such like can feel almost unimaginable. But magically, despite the dizzying inhumanity of her tale, Krissi Bohn as the Young Woman (and all the people she encounters) is both magnificent and, more importantly, believable. The range of accents that Bohn portrays, too, demonstrates a remarkable skill for mimicry.

The horror of the Young Woman’s plight and her sense of despair is palpable – indeed, it frequently feels physically draining even to observe.

It’s impossible to describe this play as ‘excellent’ when it is so exhaustingly, unflinchingly bleak. It is, however, moving, powerful and disturbing, with a scintillating central performance at its core.

We need your help…

When you subscribe to The Stage, you’re investing in our journalism. And our journalism is invested in supporting theatre and the performing arts.

The Stage is a family business, operated by the same family since we were founded in 1880. We do not receive government funding. We are not owned by a large corporation. Our editorial is not dictated by ticket sales.

We are fully independent, but this means we rely on revenue from readers to survive.

Help us continue to report on great work across the UK, champion new talent and keep up our investigative journalism that holds the powerful to account. Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue.

Subscribers to The Stage get 10% off The Stage Tickets’ price
The relentless bleakness of the play is counterbalanced by a stunning, uplifting performance from Krissi Bohn