A Very British Childhood

We are invited into the supposedly idyllic lives of an average suburban family, where absolutely nothing is amiss. Honestly.

This is a gloriously sinister production.

However, as the endless summer sun beats down on them, the façade of being a perfect family begins to crack. The father comes home with a peculiar story about his journey home from work. The phone rings. The next door neighbours’ daughter has gone missing. The search for her drags everyone’s darkest secrets out into the sunlight.

The performance looks wonderfully like a doll’s house has been brought to life onstage. Mother and daughter are disturbing carbon copies of each other in little yellow dresses, while father and son have identical red cardigans. Victoria Johnstone has done a fantastic job with the costumes. The dialogue plays with repetition and is robotically delivered, which creates the impression that we are watching a performance by dolls. The result is the right level of freaky and sinister under a veneer of pastel normality, which also leaves room for comedic moments. The cast manage the tricky dialogue very well, and they work together as a sound ensemble.

However, as the characters appear to be doll-like, it becomes difficult for them to express emotion. The scenes where characters become angry with each other feel false. Scenes that should pull at the audience’s heartstrings feel unreal, making it difficult for the audience to sympathise with the characters or care about their breakdowns. Furthermore, the sound effects need to be quicker on their cues. In one instance, the line “I can hear her coughing” was followed by a few beats of uncomfortable silence before the effect arrived.

This is a gloriously sinister production that will only get better as their run continues.

Reviews by M Johnson

Old Fire Station - Cafe

An Intervention

M6 Theatre Company

Little Gift

Assembly Roxy

Thor and Loki

Paradise in The Vault


Gilded Balloon Teviot





Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now



The Blurb

Britain. 1965. Welcome to paradise: austerity has given way to posterity, and history's heroes lie forgotten as the post-war baby boomers come of age in this brave new world. A world of happy, medicated mothers; hard-working fathers who always come home when the clock strikes six, and eternal sunshine. Until a child goes missing, and the suburban idyll is dismantled, piece by piece. But then childhood always was a dangerous place, a place you can never go back to, and never fully escape from...

Most Popular See More

Come From Away

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Les Miserables

From £22.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £31.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Witness for the Prosecution

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Tina - The Tina Turner Musical

From £13.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Life of Pi

From £19.00

More Info

Find Tickets