The Musical Jigsaw Play, By Alan Ayckbourn, Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough. Alan Ayckbourn's new play for children, unveiled in time for the Christmas season, is another brilliantly conceived entertainment.
The Musical Jigsaw Play is inspired by his well-known fondness for weird and whacky board games and it has many of the ingredients his young fans have come to expect.
A nondescript, nay truly awful, rock group are trapped in a sort of musical oblivion. They have no idea where they are or why they are - a cue for some wickedly funny word plays and mock-philosophical questioning that soon had the first night audience, mainly youngsters, in pained and loud hysterics.
The group want to escape and their only means to do so is to create a hit record, but first they have to complete a huge jigsaw cum mosaic with audience help. The house lights go up, volunteers are called forward to help the actors and everyone gets excited. But if the volunteers are ever slow then there is a danger of the pace slackening and of course bored onlookers can get restless . . .
However, the action soon picks up with the creation of a song, or rather four songs initially, and then the four songs are put together for a final rousing few minutes when everyone sings what has become the hit record. The atmosphere throughout is wonderfully enthusiastic and everyone has a fun time.