Archie Stringweed has just reached his tenth birthday. As ever he receives a parcel by post from his uncle Rufus, an explorer who has been away from England for many years. This year he manages to answer the door to the postwoman before his parents can get there and opens the parcel to find a gold coin, which his parents take off him. He remembers having received a pair of flying goggles on his fifth birthday, but since then his parents have intercepted the post and prevented him from receiving any of Uncle Rufus’ gifts, as they feel that they are ‘inappropriate’ for him. While he is in his room a snow goose comes into his room through the window and in a pouch on its leg is another gold coin, very similar to the one he received from Uncle Rufus. What is the purpose of Uncle Rufus’ strange presents and why is Archie’s house the only one to be covered with snow?

The set design is very clever. A small, revolving double flight of stairs gives the impression that the stage is much bigger than it actually is and allows the action to move from downstairs to up and back again without any pause. There is also an excellent musical background provided by a keyboard and two guitars.

Newbury Youth Theatre is a well-established leading youth company with a well-deserved reputation. The cast is very energetic and enthusiastic and this is a certainly a good show for children, although perhaps a bit too complex for the very young.

Reviews by Alan Chorley

History Boys

★★★★

Dracula

★★

Cherry Orchard

★★★★

Azincourt

★★★★

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★★★★

The Blurb

Quaker Meeting House. 4th - 9th August 14:30 (1h10)