Jonathan Harvey is the award-winning writer most famous for "Beautiful Thing" and TV's "Gimme Gimme Gimme". Boom Bang-A-Bang is one of his early plays, in which a group of friends meet on the night of the Eurovision Song Contest 1995 and the various friendships rise and fall over the course of one pop-soaked evening.
Lee's partner Michael has recently died of a brain tumour. None the less, Lee has decided to carry on the tradition of hosting a Eurovision party at his Kentish Town flat. In attendance are his secretive half-sister Wendy, bitchy former best friend Steph, boyish young Roy and the tumultuous couple Nick and Tania. Meanwhile, Norman from upstairs is trying to get an invite. The death of the television set is not the only disaster in store for the gathering this evening.
A lively mixture of farce and bittersweet comedy, Boom Bang-A-Bang was produced by the new theatre company LoveYaFace Productions, comprised of a group of actors many of whom met working front of house in the west end. Deciding to generate some work for themselves, they found a play which they felt would showcase their talents and develop their experience, and then brought Ben on to direct it- a reversal of the typical order of events.
In directing it, he added Harvey to an ever-lengthening list of major playwrights whose work he has revived in recent years including Mark Ravenhill, Steve Thompson, Ben Elton, David Mamet and Mark O'Rowe.
Aided by a terrific design by James Lees which gave a surreal dimension to a seemingly naturalistic sitcom play, Benet pitched the production as "reality plus 20%". The resulting show in the tiny Lion and Unicorn Theatre (just round the corner from where Harvey first wrote it), received ovationary responses from often capacity houses, as well as a small clutch of reviews, all of which were enthusiastic.