This is the second production from Horizon Arts running afternoons in Underbelly’s Big Belly this Fringe. My colleague found much to praise in their other new play offering, the provocatively titled My Filthy Hunt, but I’m less enamoured with Laundry Boy.
Written and directed by Philip Stokes (who also wrote My Filthy Hunt), the black comedy centres on not-so-lovable twenty-something loser Terry Orange, now running the family laundrette after the death of his father. The return of Terry’s schoolboy crush, perfect girl Melanie, triggers a reckoning in Terry’s increasingly fractured brain. Graphic novel heroes and villains, conjured from false memories and dashed childhood hopes, battle for supremacy and Terry’s sanity. And then there’s the matter of the horny Hoover.
Yes, you read that right. Even the electrical appliances are crude and lewd in Laundry Boy, which may have seemed funnier after 10pm and a few beers. In the cold light of day, it struck me as largely distasteful and dirty, and not in a good way.
Amongst the cast, newcomer Aiden Ross makes a strong impression as young Terry, but I couldn’t help but feel sorry for Lee Bainbridge who, as his older self, spends most of the play in his underpants, wanking and seething with self-loathing.