The List

3/5

Clockheart Boy -- C Chambers Street, London
7/8/08 Allan Radcliffe

Stylish, heart-rending tale.

There’s an important piece missing from the Professor’s puzzle: his daughter Sophie disappeared 28 years ago while out walking on the beach. Luckily, he’s got an energetic bunch of eccentric pals living in his castle to help with the search and assist in his experiments, which include fitting a clock in the empty chest of a poor, heartless boy . . .

Dumbshow’s patchwork fantasy draws on everything from the Frankenstein myth to CoppĂ©lia to create this stylish, melancholic fantasy. The script is a bit meandering and wordy for very young children, and all the rushing around onstage by the ensemble cast gets a bit frantic at times. But the bright, punky costumes and mournful piano soundtrack create a heightened other-wordly atmosphere, while the story of Sophie’s disappearance and its aftermath is sweet and engaging.