Last night I was lucky enough to be watching the new play: The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas at the lovely Wycombe Swan, so let me give the team at the Wycombe Swan a huge thank-you for inviting me! Here's my review!
Bruno is a young 9 year old boy living in the harsh times of the 1940s in Germany. His father worked for the 'Fury' (Hitler) - with an very important job. One day, Bruno has to move with his family to the middle of nowhere for his father's job. It is tedious there, with nothing to do, and no-one to play with. And then, he spots loads of other children, behind a tall fence, all wearing striped pyjamas...
This play was a very impactful evening, planting deep thoughts about the horrors of World War 11 into my mind. Having read the book as well, I was intrigued to see how the play would be produced, with the many changes of scenery, but really it worked well and was very effective. The thing I picked up the most was the connection between Bruno and Shmuel (from the other side of the fence). I felt the power between them, as if it was real, was really brought the play alive. The whole plot itself is amazing, and this stage edition was well-tweaked, giving it the intended tragic feeling but with the extra comedy, done at appropriate times!
My favourite character was Shmuel acted by Tom Hibberd - a 9 year old, because he had that sort of stage presence, you could actually believe who his character was! It is crazy to think children my age, can learn all those lines and act in that way!
Overall I would rate this 5/5, as I could feel the emotion. Now, the question most people ask is, 'is it like the film or the book?' And the answer is the book! The film was more for adults, and (like the book) this is fine for anyone - boys and girls 11+ (or mature 10 year olds).
If you live near Wycombe, I urge you to come and see it from today until this Saturday, there are still tickets available! And if you don't live locally, The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas is touring all the UK! Don't miss out!