The Book Of Everything Review

Stunning, magical, hilarious and deeply moving, The Book of Everything is a beautiful stage play, from Silo Theatre for Auckland Arts Festival, about a family living in post war Amsterdam in the early 1950’s.

Adapted from the Guus Kuijers children’s book, the story centres on Thomas (Patrick Carroll) who is “Nine years old… but almost ten”. Thomas sees the world in a uniquely magical way and records what he sees in his “Book of Everything”. He lives with his violent father (Sam Snedden), loving mother (Mia Blake) and his spirited 16 year old sister Margot (Olivia Tennet).

Whilst he is a happy child, his life is tinged with sadness. His father is a fundamentalist Christian who rules the home with an iron fist. This manifests into the constant threat of domestic violence. Sweet, brave Thomas is resigned to being regularly spanked, but is deeply wounded each time he witnesses his mother being beaten.

Although there are some dark themes, this children’s show balances itself with beautifully crafted humour. Particularly during appearances from Jesus (Tim Carlsen) who is a very chilled out guy, and knows what it’s like to have dad problems!

This is the best production I’ve ever been to with incredible acting, dynamic set, intense soundtrack, intuitive sound effects and an amazing story. The show also had audience awareness and interaction as Thomas narrated his thoughts, feelings and ideas to us.

In the final scene I was surprised to be selected to go up onto the stage to participate.  What an unreal experience, to sit next to the characters, to be a part of the story!

I recommend you go and see this show before it finishes on the 22 March at Q Theatre. I am trying to get Mum to buy me another ticket, because I want to see it again!

The amazing Cast includes: Rima Te Wiata, Michelle Blundell, Olivia Tennant and Patrick Carroll and Tim Carlsen

Recommended for ages 9 – 90!

Caleb PrinceReviewed by Caleb Prince age 15.

The Book Of Everything is on at Q Theatre for Auckland Arts Festival until 22 March.