Alan Ayckbourn directs a new musical version of his play The Boy Who Fell Into A Book which premieres at the Stephen Joseph Theatre.
It plays in the Round from July 18 to August 31 and brings together a musical team and musical theatre cast with contributions ranging from award-winning musicals to West End hits.
Ten- year-old Kevin Carter falls into his book and meets his fictional hero, tough hard-bitten Private Investigator Rockfist Slim.
Together the gallant, incongruous pair, pursued by arch-enemy Monique, set out on the most exciting journey of their lives on a quest to save the world. The production reunites the team responsible for The Demon Headmaster and sees Ayckbourn collaborate with Paul James, who has written the musical adaptation and lyrics, and composers Cathy Shostak and Eric Angus who have created the music.
“I think they’ve caught the spirit of the play very closely; Paul, Cathy and Eric obviously love the piece and, as a director, I’ll happily hitch a ride along with that sort of enthusiasm,” said Ayckbourn, who celebrated his 75th birthday earlier this year.
“It’s a family show, not a children’s show. It’s for anyone who ever secretly read under the bedclothes as a child and who has ever been captivated by a story in a book. In terms of a musical it’s small scale, in that it doesn’t have a cast of hundreds, but I feel with big potential.”
Musical adaptor and lyricist Paul James said: “I think it’s important when writing any musical, particularly a family show, to repeatedly ask questions like ‘Is the plot clear?’ ‘Do the songs move things along?’ ‘Do they sing well?’ and ‘Is it fun?’
“Having worked closely with Alan, as both original author and director, having successfully workshopped the show, and having now assembled such a talented cast, I think we can holler ‘Yes! Yes! Yes! Yes!’.”
The cast features Nicolas Colicos as Rockfist Slim and Evelyn Hoskins as Kevin.
Later in the season, Alan Ayckbourn also directs his 78th play, Roundelay, which can be seen from September 4 to October 4.