Brighton Fringe 2007
Brighton’s own TuckedIn bring us Al’s Smith’s heartwarming, feel-good tale of growing up, literally, in the middle of America in the 50s and 60s. Well crafted storytelling, well worth a view.
Brighton’s own TuckedIn bring us a strongly written piece of storytelling, a touching tale of a boy growing up, literally, in the centre of the American dream.
A baby born at the geographical centre of the U.S., Charlie Fairbanks grows up in the decade of dreams and dreamers, of space capsule tree-houses, of Fireball XL5, amidst a nation that loves the Dream, this humorous, heartwarming and uplifting tale engaged the “home” audience from a start.
There were plenty of laughaloud moments amid a story that also touched the darker side of America, the disastrous foray into Vietnam and the attempts to deflect the population’s attention towards the quest for space and the moon.
“Growing up slap bang in the middle of the land of dreamers”, the piece if reminiscent of the film Big Fish and the writings of Kurt Vonnegut, references that I make to flatter not denigrate the writer.
This is impressively crafted story-based theatre. Nick Chambers turns Charlie into a likeable storyteller, and gave a high energy performance of just under an hour. Not always 100% on top of the material, the show will get better and better as its run develops.
The physicality is sometimes too restrained which leads us to rely more on the verbal delivery, and the performer doesn’t always carry the sheer weight of words that an hour’s story telling requires. But when he is at his best, he commands the stage and carries a story that keeps your attention and your heart in thrall.
Overall though this is a good first draft of a show that I think will go from strength to strength.
The obviously “home” audience loved it. There was applause throughout the piece – always a good sign.
Recommended? Definitely, yes.