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Crescent Theatre Company present

The Indian Boy

by Rona Monro

Sat 6th & Tue 9th - Sat 13th March at 7.45pm in the Ron Barber Studio Theatre
Matinees: Sun 7th & Sat 13th at 2.45pm
After Dark Talk – Friday 12th March

Written for the RSC, The Indian Boy was inspired by A Midsummer Night’s Dream. A 'wild child' is found in the last clump of woodland left on a building development. The builder, Peter, wants him out of the way. The psychologist, Julius, wants to protect him. His wife, June, wants to understand him and all the time something even wilder seems intent on escaping from the forest.

The Director, Colin Simmons has this to say about this intriuguing play:

In a reversal of the 'Alice' concept, The Indian Boy explores what happens when a character crosses over from a fantasy world into our own. That world is Shakespeare's magical forest from A Midsummer Night's Dream.

A reading of Rona Munro's play makes it clear that this forest is almost a character in its own right. A tree dominates the stage, and throughout the play physical manifestations occur – there is a "storm of leaves" at the end of Act One; wild flowers make an unexplained appearance on the floor of a psychiatric hospital; and near the end of the play a major character disintegrates into leaves, "dissolving into forest."

Clearly, these events present a major challenge for a small-scale production being staged in a studio theatre! It has been necessary to find ways of representing some of these events in a different way, or even replacing them entirely.

There is one line of dialogue which perhaps more than any other informed my approach to directing this play. Chippy, a carpenter, has lived near the woods all his life and has heard some strange stories about what lives inside them. He says :-

"The thing is. If it's real . . . it's not for kids, is it? If it's real. It's not safe at all."

The modern image of the fairy – the one on top of your Christmas tree, or dancing at the bottom of your garden – is one given to us by those champions of sentimentality, the Victorians. The fairy myth is of course much, much older than this. They were generally regarded as malicious, almost demonic beings, practising many forms of mischief including theft and abduction. These are the fairies that interest me!

So it is this sense of danger that we have been exploring during our rehearsals. Every character in the play is affected in some way by the unexpected intrusion of the Indian Boy into their lives. There is a constant feeling that they are losing control of their actions and emotions. Rona Munro has given most of her characters an interesting back story. This is an intensely psychological play, infused with an element of magical realism.

Tickets: £11.50 (Concessions £10.50)
Sunday Matinee: £5 (No Concessions)
Groups of 20 or more: £9.00

By arrangement with Nick Hern Books

Shakespeare Lives! Season

Box Office: 0121 643 5858
The Crescent Theatre, Sheepcote Street, Birmingham B16 8AE. Company No: 699933, Charity No: 245054