The Many Doors of Frank Feelbad (5 stars)

This article is from 2016

The Many Doors of Frank Feelbad

Alex Brenner and Bootworks Theatre

A beautiful, fun play about bereavement for children and parents

The doors to the foyer crash open and two men in brown stockroom coats stand before us. These are the 'Locators', Barry and Garry, and they task us (or all the children in the group, now made official Locators themselves) with finding the puzzle pieces around the room.

Then they guide us into Lucy Lose-a-Lot's Lose-o-Porium, where lost things are found. Yet Frank, a little puppet boy, is hard to help; he's lost his mum and he doesn't know where to find her. His dad is too sad and no use at all, so it's up to us.

From Bootworks Theatre, the same company which brought Oliver Jeffers' The Incredible Book-Eating Boy to the stage, this beautifully pitched part-promenade, part-site specific piece which speaks to small children about bereavement is a stunning piece of work.

It's funny – characters like Sir Dancalot the raving knight, and the feathery chicken and his independent butcher raise a lot of laughs – while the versatile set and the interactivity is pitch perfect. Adults beware, though; when the emotional sucker punch comes at the end, the happy tears will be all yours.

Pleasance Kids @ EICC, until 28 Aug (not 22), noon, £8.50 (£6).

The Many Doors of Frank Feelbad

  • 5 stars

Bootworks From the award-winning makers of The Incredible Book Eating Boy, ★★★★★ (Scotsman, 2011). Frank is an inquisitive chap with a big problem: what’s happened to Mum? Join Frank on his adventure to find her. There’ll be scavenger hunts, puzzles to solve and even some dancing to dubstep. Dealing sensitively with grief…