Silo Theatre brings flair to the stage adaptation of a delightful modern fable by Dutch writer Guus Kuijer.
The story inverts the fairytale formula by which children leave home to encounter monsters and has a 9-year-old hero facing down the wickedness that lurks beneath the genteel facade of middle-class domesticity.
The setting in post-war Amsterdam is seen from the viewpoint of a child who cannot distinguish between the hallucinatory products of his imagination and the grim reality of everyday life.
Patrick Carroll embodies the inquisitive yearning of a child confronting the horror of domestic violence.
As the father Sam Snedden captures the severity of an authoritarian Bible-basher but also humanises a character who easily could have become a pantomime villain.
Director Sophie Roberts has assembled a dream cast with Rima Te Wiata having fun as a neighbourhood witch while Olivia Tennet represents the spirit of teenage rebellion and Mia Blake movingly expresses the simmering resentment of a battered wife.
Perhaps the most intriguing aspect of the story comes with Tim Calson's portrayal of a diffident Jesus who humorously conveys a complex theological position by suggesting God's failure to intervene does not mean he is unmoved by human suffering.
John Verryt's design brings a whimsical lightness to a production featuring chalk sketching to conjure up props and foley-style sound effects.
What: The Book of Everything
Where: Q Theatre
When: To March 22