ED2023 Reviews ED2023 Theatre Reviews

The Brief Life & Mysterious Death of Boris III, King of Bulgaria (Out Of The Forest Theatre)

By | Published on Tuesday 8 August 2023

With its tales of minorities demonised, incarcerated, shipped off abroad, the contemporary resonances of Out of the Forest Theatre’s fast-moving ensemble show are clear. But this is far from a dry lecture: instead, the exuberantly entertaining ‘The Brief Life…’ crackles with pantomine-like energy, though it’s ultimately a deeply moving examination of a barely known episode in World War II history, as the titular monarch vacillates between allegiance to the wartime powers and the inevitable consequences for his diverse population. There’s an enjoyably Shakespearean richness to the machinations of his scheming politicians, as well as the sometimes misjudged decisions of Boris himself, captured charismatically by writer/actor Joseph Cullen in the title role. From pitch-black tragedy to scarcely believable farce, it’s an all-singing, all-dancing joy.

Pleasance Dome, until 28 Aug.
tw rating 5/5 | [David Kettle]