The Incredible Book Eating Boy (4 stars)

This article is from 2011.

The Incredible Book Eating Boy

Quirky five-minute adaptation of much-loved children’s book

This five-minute adaptation of Oliver Jeffers’ 2006 children’s book is one of the quirkiest and most delightful offerings at this year’s Fringe, no matter what your age.

The performance itself takes place in the Black Box, Bootworks Theatre’s marvellously innovative performance space. An audience of one (or two, including a young child) is led into the box; the light goes off and the performance begins, told through three apertures that open and close like the turning pages of a book.

In this charming tale, a boy called Henry decides to eat books rather than read them, an activity that makes him cleverer and cleverer – before problems begin. The style of Jeffers’ original artwork is lovingly re-created in puppets and sets designed by the company. But it’s to Bootworks’ credit that Jeffers’ distinctive illustrations aren’t simply copied; instead, it inspires them to create a new and absorbing animated landscape.

The five minutes spent in the Box are disappointingly short, but there’s a chance to stick around in next door in an enticing play area where children and parents can play, draw and leave feedback, making the area outside the box almost as fun as inside.

Pleasance Courtyard, 556 6550, until 29 Aug, every 6 mins between 10.20am and 2.14pm, £4.

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