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The Magical Faraway Tree

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars
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Re-telling and sending up Enid Blyton's fairytale, young actors James Dunnell-Smith, John Woodburn and Joshua George Smith jump straight into The Magical Faraway Tree and Dick's quest to the Land of Magical Medicines in a bid to save his dying mother.

Unfortunately the cast appear more interested in the gags than the storytelling and the script is thin. 'Funny voices' are the main, and over-used, weapon in their arsenal, but they don't get much back from the audience. The fact that the central character is called Dick appears the only thing able to raise a regular laugh.

The company shun props or scenery but the three boys demonstrate versatility, working between their characters at pace, dressed in a selection of presumably ironic t-shirts.

There is no sense of urgency from any of the cast and the piece wafts along to fill its hour-long slot. The comedy is immature and sloppily performed. I'm glad there was a girl tittering away in the front row throughout the performance I saw, otherwise much of the show would have been met with little more than stoney silence from the rest of the audience.

I fail to imagine what kind of home crowd Sleeping Trees Theatre needs to get the laughs they are trying to land. Watching The Magical Faraway Tree I wasn't encouraged to imagine much at all really.


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