Where is everyone, kidnapped?

 Swashbuckling adventure with David Balfour played by Stewart McCheyne

Kidnapped

New Alexandra Theatre

****

IT MUST have been something of a disappointment to The Sell A Door Theatre Company when they stepped out on to stage to begin their first night of Kidnapped, at the Alexandra theatre, only to see what must have been eighty people had turned up to see them deliver, what turned out to be an inventive and highly entertaining piece of theatre.

Perhaps it was the sub title of a `family adventure’ that kept them away on a wet Monday school night in the middle of winter or maybe the fact that a boys own swashbuckling adventure just doesn’t have the attraction anymore unless Johnny Depp is involved .

Ivan Wilkinson has adapted this Robert Louis Stevenson story for the stage and it his first play. Together with Director Anna Fox and a very skilled company they have brought to life a story which covers many locations by using some excellent stagecraft and clever staging.

Kidnapped tells the tale of a young Scot, David Balfour at the time of the Jacobite and Clan uprisings in Scotland who, on the death of his father, is press-ganged into a sea journey by the design of his scheming uncle who has sights on the boys inheritance.

Balfour played by Stewart McCheyne encounters a whole series of adventures all set within the framework of the politics of a changing Scotland. He encounters Alan Breck, played by Simon Weir, a sword wielding Jacobite and the pair build an unlikely friendship. Jamie Laird plays the part of Balfour in his later years who also acts as a narrator, retelling the story one night to friends and also manages to take on several other roles.

The cast is added to by Lesley Cook and Christopher Anderton who again take on a variety of supporting roles. The production is a skillfully directed piece of theatre as it also involves elements of physical theatre, puppetry and a clever set which is changed over by the players themselves.

The lack of audience support on the night did not stop anyone from delivering a highly professional and seamless production yet it was hard not to keep noticing the empty seats around me. Throughout the play I kept wondering where everyone was, Kidnapped maybe?   

Let’s hope they get more audience support in the future and as they go on as they clearly deserve it. To 04-03-14.

Jeff Grant 

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