Just William's Luck (4 stars)

Just William's Luck

Adaptation of Richmal Crompton's novel is full of boyish silliness and adventure

Rather oddly located amid the 'grown-up' theatre section of the Fringe brochure, this adaptation of Richmal Crompton's only novel in her Just William series about naughty schoolboy William Brown (itself an adaptation of Val Guest's 1947 film of the same name; Crompton liked it so much that she wrote a novelised version) is perhaps more usefully aimed at an all-ages audience, from primary school upwards. The five-piece acting company from Shedload Theatre have created an all-action and hugely visually compelling adaptation which conjures a variety of locations from just a few sheets and boxes, and a couple of scary-looking puppets.

The plan being executed by William (Jonathan Massey) and his mates involves marrying off their elder brothers, which they think might be best carried out by getting them a house to live in with their future wives – in which case they try to scare a couple of fierce rogues out of the decrepit mansion they live in by pretending the place is haunted.

The sense of adventure is high, and the boyish silliness of the group well-captured, while there's a very contemporary suggestion that the sexism of the time is being implicitly rebutted in Louise Waller's Violet Elizabeth, a character as fierce as any of the male tearaways around her.

Underbelly, until 26 Aug, 12.10pm, £9–£10 (£8–£9).

Just William's Luck

  • 4 stars

Shedload Theatre The invincible William Brown considers he is 'jolly well equal' to solving most of life's trickier problems, although devising a plan to get the elder brothers of the Outlaws married off might be a considerable challenge… Shedload Theatre present a love letter to Richmal Crompton's classic characters in a…

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