Ruby Redfort

Lauren Child

Escapade Theatre Company

Assembly George Square Theatre

From 03 August 2017 to 28 August 2017

Rating: ***

Review by Robin Strapp

This production of Ruby Redfort by Escapade Theatre Company is the first ever adaption of the highly successful children’s book by the newly crowned Children’s Laureate, Lauren Child.

It’s quite an undertaking to condense the entire book into 60 minutes but the young company managed to get the essence of the plot across with style.

Set in the spring of 1973 in Twinford, America, the Jade Buddha of Khotan, which is supposed to have magical powers, is to be displayed in the gallery. But the world’s greatest master criminals have plans to steal it.

Enter 13-year-old Ruby Redfort, super code breaker and special agent, to come to the rescue and crack the code.

This is a fast-paced, highly enjoyable production from a hard working cast, using a multi-coloured simple set, with coloured light sabres that were effectively used to create windows, doors, lifts and buildings.

When Ruby is recruited by SABRE, the secret service agency, she is promised, “a desk job, there will be no car chases, no jumping out of aeroplanes in black turtle-neck sweaters, and it will not make you one of us.”

But Ruby has other ideas and, together with her best friend, the gawky Clancy, becomes embroiled in the adventure of a lifetime.

Three of the actors play a multitude of characters, from the annoying parents to the secret agent, Hitch the butler and the stereotypical gangsters, each one created with assurance, in a comic book acting style.

The plot is a roller coaster ride of invention, mystery and fun. But will Ruby solve the mystery? I really can’t give that away you will just have to go and see.