Note: This review is from the 2019 Fringe

Following up last year’s stunning word-of-mouth hit Wolf  was never going to be easy but thankfully Lewis Doherty has come up with a worthy sequel in Boar, which now forms his second hour in a planned trilogy.

Last year’s outing was a film noir, and this year Doherty is embracing the fantasy genre and plays a cast of dozens with a mere step stool, some bike lights and his impressive vocal skills. The fast-paced adventure sees Doherty take on quests involving everything from pirates to dragons, an exhausting hour of action which embraces the absurd nature of fantasy tropes.

The story of Boar may sound off-putting to those who aren’t fans of fantasy: in a distant land overrun with barbarians and thieves our gravel-voiced title character has been charged – along with a band of misfits – with rescuing the Princess of the land of Skadi from the evil dragon Gorn. The narrative is actually inconsequential because it’s the way that Doherty inhabits every character that makes the show so special. His wit, physically and powers of transformation are unmatched, with Hollywood stars unable to transform themselves into characters over the course of months with as much ease as Doherty manages in a mere hour. The show never feels self-indulgent, which is amazing given that everything that you see on stage is written and performed by one man.

The humour of Boar is warm and not disrespectful, it’s clear that this is a loving send-up, not an attack on genre films. Doherty’s skill in switching between characters is a joy to behold and to watch him engage in back-and-forth combat with each character having their own unique personality is stunning to witness. The plot loses its way towards the end of the show but there’s little to fault here. It’s not just a good night out but also a technical masterpiece and I for one can’t wait to see the completion of the trilogy.