Kidnapped is an exciting adventure story set in Scotland in the 18th century when the Jacobites (who supported Bonnie Prince Charlie) were enemies of the Whigs (who supported King George). Even before the start of the show the actors were singing and dancing at the grownup David Balfour’s family party and they used the party to explain the background which was very helpful. The realistic costumes brought the 18th century to life.
I thought Kidnapped was a great mix of exciting and funny. The five actors all changed in and out of the many different characters just by putting on a scarf or taking off a hat and Jamie Laird (Old David Balfour) was especially good as he was both telling the story and dropping into it as characters like the villainous sea captain and the friendly lawyer. My favourite actor was Lesley Cook (Female Ensemble) who played all the women and a few men – she was brilliant as Ransom the agile, over-enthusiastic and unlucky cabin boy.
I loved how they used props and their own bodies really imaginatively, for example making stairs out of stools and people, and a ferryman out of rope and a ship’s wheel. Another thing that I really enjoyed was that there was never a silent moment because when they were moving the set around, they had three or four songs of the time that they always sang. At times, there were drums, a guitar, and even a violin!
Don’t worry if you’re not used to Scottish Highland accents – everyone speaks clearly and there are only a few words that are hard to understand (“I don’t have any Gaelic” sounded like “I don’t have any garlic”!) If you like the book Kidnapped you’ll definitely enjoy this show but even if you thought the book was a bit boring give it a try because they’ve found a way to make an adventure story very funny as well.
- Children Theatre
- By Sell A Door Theatre Company (adapted by Robert Louis Stevenson's novel)
- Adapted for the stage by Ivan Wilkinson
- Cast: Stuart McCheyne, Simon Weir, Jamie Laird, Lesley Cook, Christopher Anderton
- Greenwich Theatre, London
- Until 9th April 2014 then on tour
- Review by Maya Kerr-Davis (age 10)
- 7 April 2014