Forest Boy

Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

Assembly George Square

From 01 August 2013 to 25 August 2013

Rating: ****

Review by Robin Strapp

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is celebrating its thirteenth year at the Fringe. It consistently produces challenging work with high production standards and this year is no exception.

It has collaborated with Noisemaker Productions to create a new musical, based on a true story, from Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie, Forest Boy, a fascinating piece using strong physical theatre from an enthusiastic cast with inventive powerful choreography. The cast beautifully create trees and establish the tribal feeling of the forest.

Tom Hackley is impressive as the boy of the title. He lives with his father (David Alves) in the forest following the death of his mother in a tragic car accident. In a rites of passage test, the boy is determined to climb the largest mountain in the forest.

But after his father dies, the boy appears in Berlin and becomes an international celebrity claiming that his story is true and he doesn’t know who he is, “I’m alone in the world, please help me.”

The police are desperate to establish his identity and it’s only when his picture appears on the Internet that the truth is finally and painfully revealed.

With strong ensemble work, a haunting score that’s sung with passion and performed by six excellent musicians, this is a tantalizing story told with total commitment from a highly talented cast.