THEATRE The Boy Who FellInto A Book Alan Ayckbourn Joseph
theatre reviews Scarborough UK REVIEWS

The Boy Who Fell Into A Book

The Round
Stephen Joseph Theatre
Scarborough
ENGLAND

How are your dreams?

Going to the theatre should be an all round experience so what of Alan Ackbourn and a Boy Who fell Into A Book?

What was knew here was the introduction of music for an entertainment aimed at all age groups. This music was supplied by Cathy Schstak and Eric Angus onto which had been layered a musical adaptation and lyrics by Paul James based on Aycbourn's writing from 1998. So what's it all about, everyone will have a different summery and this is mine. We have all experienced falling asleep dreaming and recalling what we can of the dream the next day and wondering where our subconscious got its ideas from, so now you see Alan Ackbourn's recollections. Here we have a boy bereft by his parents to get to sleep and sliding into an strange world of fairy tails and imagination and finding himself befriended by a detective. They proceed to have adventures and get into all sort of scrapes. One notable one is a chess game. No I am not going to even hit at it. That's for you to experience in your own mind. All that said or not said the stage effects at times rate with West End and Michael Holt deserves congratulations with the design of the costumes that were enhanced by Sheila Carter's choreography.

The hardworking actors are Evelyn Hoskins, Nicolas Colicos, Katie Birtill, Natasha J Barnes, John Barr and Stephen Matthews who take on many roles. The musical Direction was by Mark Warman who was ably assisted by Chris Guard, Timothy Dullaway and Anthony Lawton.

So what of the overall experience? Well it was the theatre administration and their psychological approach to things related that let things down. First they seem to have lost sight of the fact that most of their audience are elderly. When you enter the theatre no programmes are available at the desk, you have to mount stairs to get one, if you can see where they are being sold. The Programme may look artistic from the design point of view, but you have to read it and white text in black is not a good idea in a dimly lit theatre and size of text is very important for the elderly audience. The Press Office could have be been more helpful.

Now go saver Alan Ackbourn's dabble into a musical fantasy aimed at all ages. Something different. © BA

“The Boy Who Fell Into A Book” is at the Round, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough from the 18th July to the 31st of August, 2014. Box Office Telephone: 01723 370541. Tickets prices from £10 - £24.50.

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