“Keegan Theatre’s One-Man Northern Irish Punk Rock War Story”
Basra Boy is a Belfast play to its core. The one-man production centers on an 18-year-old Belfast punk, who has a dirty mouth, a penchant for trouble, and who debates joining the Royal Army to fight in Iraq or Afghanistan. It was written in dialect, with plenty of Belfast slang. And, needless to say: Its playwright, Rosemary Jenkinson, is a Belfast native. You’d think, then, that the first place you’d be able to see Basra Boy would be in Belfast.
You can’t see the play in Northern Ireland, at least not yet. It’s premiering this weekend on Church Street NW, as part of the Keegan Theatre’s current season.”
The script’s demands are intense. In one sequence Sticklin portrays four different boys, bickering over whether an elephant has a foot or a hoof, while simultaneously commenting on the action as one character’s older self. The process can be daunting.
‘For me, it’s not the physical fatigue,’ says Sticklin, who tries to give his characters unique voices and physicality. ‘It’s the mental fatigue… it’s like mania.'”
… Still, Sticklin says the one-man element adds a great deal to Basra Boy. “It assists kick-starting [the audience’s] imagination,” he says. “I like going to theater where there’s this sort of direct address to the audience.”