The Boy Who Fell Into A Book

Published July 23, 2012

It’s what all children dream of; inhabiting the world of their favourite storybook characters, embarking on mysterious adventures through deep dark forests and fighting villains with fictional heroes in an effort to save the planet.

There’s only one thing that could possibly be better than falling into a book and setting off on such an exciting quest and that’s finding yourself venturing through the entire collection on your bookshelf. Welcome to Kevin’s world.

Engrossed in his favourite bedtime story, Kevin refuses to go to bed. But as his father orders him to turn out his light, suddenly Kevin is propelled into the adventures of the legendary private investigator Rockfist Slim, where he finds himself part of the mission to rid the world of the evil Green Shark.

From Chess For Beginners and Ghost Stories to Grimms’ Fairy Tales and Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped, Kevin and Rockfist aren’t afraid of a challenge. Against the backdrop of Kevin’s Hackney Wick bedroom, the daring duo comes face to face with imminent death along with a number of peculiar and menacing characters portrayed with endearing oddity and humour by the five-strong cast.

An angry French lady with a constantly diminishing baguette, a serial killing bishop, a white moustachioed pawn who’s often mistaken for a prawn, a wolf who can only converse in verse and a family of singing, dancing and jelly-hurling Wooblies are among the vibrant personalities in question.

Though aimed at children as young as seven, The Boy Who Fell Into A Book is a family show to be enjoyed by parents and children alike. Packed full of stimulating sound effects and merry music with slapstick silliness and dodgy accents galore, Alan Ayckbourn’s inventive piece constitutes an afternoon – or morning – of fantastical fun that stretches the imagination and teaches children about the immortality of fiction.

Judging by the incessant sound of woobly-wooblying that burst out of the Soho theatre’s auditorium and continued down the street, it isn’t only fiction that can have a lasting effect, as Ayckbourn’s fun-filled play proves to be a theatrical experience that will live on in the audience members’ minds for a long time to come.