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January 27, 2003
Review: The Boy Who Fell Into A Book

The Boy Who Fell Into A Book

The Boy Who Fell Into A Book at the Oxford Playhouse.


The Boy Who Fell Into A Book by Alan Ayckbourn is a play for children and for fun-loving adults about characters who overlap into each other’s worlds.


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Review by Sarah Vanstone

A fantastic journey through a whole shelf of books was presented by the English Touring Theatre and Warwick Arts centre at the Playhouse.

A vast open book formed the floor of the stage, with adaptable scaffolding as the backdrop.

Nine-year-old Kevin played by Matt Green is in bed reading Rockfist Slim and the case of the Green Shakr, and dad won’t stop nagging him to turn out the light.

As he reads the story aloud it visually comes to life on stage, until he falls into the action and meets the hard-boiled detective Rockfist Slim, played by Eric Loren.

Together they journey through Kevin’s entire shelf of six books meeting chess players, Red Riding Hood, The Wooblie family, ghosts, and Monique the scary assassin.

Each book that Kevin stumbles into helps to maintain the audience’s involvement. Each new location is totally different from the last and gives a kaleidoscope view of children’s stories from The Brothers Grimm to modern day Harry Potter.

A great message comes across in this play - the value of reading, and the power of the imagination to transport the reader to other worlds.

As Kevin says "With a book, it becomes real. The book becomes part of you".

The Boy who Fell into a Book doesn't’t underestimate the children it is aimed at, but gives them credit for wit and intelligence.

This makes it an interesting performance for everyone. It focuses on language and story, is a great way to be reminded of childhood adventures, or of the enthusiastic journeys you went on with your favourite books.



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