Blue Boy, written by Margaret Wilkinson, is a short play, running just over one hour and promises so much, as a tense contemporary thriller.
The play is set in a cramped untidy office, where Regan (Alex Elliott), a senior manager at Social Services, is working through the night to catch up on paperwork. A boy (Jack McMillan) arrives, who has walked past security and appears to have looked in other empty offices before finding Regan. The boy claims to have nowhere to go and finally convinces Regan to let him stay, before events take a more sinister turn. We finally find out about a young person who killed himself in care, who looks exactly like the boy. Regan thinks it could be his brother looking for revenge, however the boy says he was a friend of the victim. But could it be the boy himself?
The play leaves a lot of questions, which is no bad thing, but even at just over one hour, it seems overly long. The first thirty minutes are just the boy arriving and starting to annoy Regan. It is only toward the final twenty minutes that the storyline starts to gather pace and your attention is held. There has to be scene setting of course, but in a short play like this, it is over long.
With the running time cut to around 45 minutes this would be a great play to serve as part of a double bill. At the moment it just seems the story is being padded out as the boy becomes restless and annoys Regan.