The Curious Scrapbook of Josephine Bean puts scrapbook in a laboratory

This article is from 2012

The Curious Scrapbook of Josephine Bean puts scrapbook in a laboratory

New Edinburgh Fringe show from children’s theatre innovator Shona Reppe

Shona Reppe hasn’t performed at the Edinburgh Fringe since Cinderella in 2002. But in the meantime, she’s steadily established herself as one of Scotland’s most innovative and engaging purveyors of children’s theatre.

‘I wanted to set a show around an old scrapbook,’ she says of her latest offering, The Curious Scrapbook of Josephine Bean. ‘A Victorian one, one that had been abandoned and had to be examined – and the story discovered within it – a mystery. I watched a lot of CSI and Agatha Christie!’

In the show, Reppe dons a white lab coat to play Dr Patricia Baker, a leading ‘scrapologist’ and founder of the Society for the Care, Repair, Analysis and Probing of Scrapbooks (SCRAPS). ‘I wanted to make a homemade laboratory, one with lots of gadgets for unearthing the story within a scrapbook,’ she explains. ‘I used video projections for the first time as they seemed right for this show – the use of technology adds to the scientific atmosphere and really helps tell the story.’

Despite these technological elements, her attitude to making children’s theatre remains comfortingly traditional: ‘Just create good theatre,’ she says, ‘no matter what age the audience is.’

Traverse @ Scottish Book Trust, 228 1404, 4–26 Aug (not 6, 13, 20), 11am, £10 (family ticket £32). Preview 3 Aug, £6.

The Curious Scrapbook of Josephine Bean

  • 4 stars

Intriguing show from the much respected Shona Reppe Puppets about a mysterious scrapbook which leads to a strange paper room. Suitable for ages 6+.