Michael Morpurgo’s ‘Farm Boy’

Hi Guys,

Last night, I went to go see Michael Morpurgo’s ‘Farm Boy’ at The Mercury Theatre in Colchester. I’ve noticed recently that I have been doing a lot of reviews for The Mercury Theatre. But there’s no way I’m complaining, I’m obviously doing something right!

I should really start off by saying that this show is solely aimed at children around seven to ten years old. So this was something that I had to bare in mind whilst watching this. The story is about a farmer who has lived on his farm his whole life and enjoys the simpler things in life. Grandpa (the farmer) played by Gary Mackay tells the story of how he managed to win a race, going up against a top of the range tractor with none other than his trusted and favorite horses.  

As this show is aimed at children, the show talks about important human values, and how children should treat one another. Coming from a background where I have in the past worked with children myself. I can see how this show can be very beneficial to younger children today. Due to the modern lifestyle, we’ve grown accustomed to for younger children it can be very easy, to forget the basic human values. So for me, seeing this very small shows and companies going into schools and performing these hour long shows, can be very beneficial to children. For this, I give huge praise and more theatres and companies should be doing more of these types of shows.  

People With A Visual Impairment & People With No Vision: I have put these two ratings together this time because they are exactly the same for both. I believe you will have no problems seeing the show. As this is such a small company (two actors and one musician) the use of sound is key here, and it is used brilliantly. There is a great use of bright colours and senses to make the show more realistic. A great example of this, was when it came to the scenes with the horses, instead of having horse sound effects or something along those lines, all the actors did was tie some rope with tin cans tied to it to some wooden ladders. So you had a visual representation of horse but had some old fashioned sound effects to go with it. This is something you never see anymore so it was a very great thing to see! 

‘Farm Boy is running from 17th – 18th June at The Mercury Theatre. If you interested in purchasing tickets you can find the link by clicking HERE.

Until Next Time,

The VI Critic!


Farm Boy

The ‘Farm Boy’ sitting on top of a green tractor with smoke coming out the Exhaust Pipe!


The Events

Hi Guys, coming to you with yet another review! Last night I went to go see ‘The Events’ at The Mercury Theatre in Colchester!

Now this show was somewhat different, in the fact that this was not in the main theatre. This was performed in the Studio at the theatre which is a much smaller space. Initially, It was quite very cosy space but as time when on it became very cramped and I personally found it very difficult to move and in the end I was afraid to move, just in case I accidentally hit the person next to me. I personally think from someone with a Visual Impairment this is not the most ideal space to watch a show because of the very limited space to move. If you are a Guide Dog owner there is very limited space for your dog to sit let alone lay down.

Let’s move on the positives, the acting from both actors was really good, the acting from Josh Collins particularly stood out. The show was very audience interactive, because of the small space all members of the cast and choir would enter and exit the stage through the audience, and even some of the acting and lines were said in amongst the audience which I thought was a nice touch. 



‘The Boy’ played by Josh Collins wearing all black clothing and headphones, looking into the distances and saying his lines.


Now, reading this you’re probably thinking: ‘Hang on, you haven’t told us anything about the story?’ and you’d be right I haven’t. But as always there is a method to my madness. The story, I found it very difficult to follow and understand. After spending some time thinking about this I think I have worked out why. Throughout the show, it was not very clear to me at least where the scene and characters had changed. Josh Collins, for example, played two different characters ‘The Boy’ and Claire’s partner Katrina. Now, this is nothing against Josh or any of the cast on their acting. But sadly it wasn’t until half way through a scene did I work out that this a new scene with different characters, and therefore this made it very difficult to understand the story.

But having said all that, the bits and pieces that I got about the story are as follows: ‘The Boy’ who to my knowledge has no name, wants to leave his mark on the world and feels that the only way he can do that is either through art or violence, and has he says he was not very much good at art. Therefore he decides to get hold of a gun and go on a murdering rampage and take out a whole choir and theatre teacher Claire. Claire is struggling with her own problems and trying to figure out herself and her faith. 



‘Claire’ played by Anna O’Grady, wearing a brown and dotted dress looking into the distance with the choir in the background.


I personally don’t think this is a show for the average Joe, just someone who enjoys theatre. I think this show is for the more mature theatre-goer who enjoys a deep subject matter, and because of the very deep subject matter, violence and swearing throughout, audience members have to be at least 15 years or older to see this show. 

Onto the ratings then:

People with a Visual Impairment: Assuming the fact that you have booked yourself a close seat to stage you will have no problem watching and understanding this show. The only downside I feel is that there is very, very limited colour throughout the show, the only colour they show in the show is grey so that could produce a problem if you rely on colours.

People Who Have No Vision: I think you will have no problem with this show at all. You might have to concentrate a little harder in terms of understanding the story, but that’s the only negative I see.

‘The Events’ is running from 2nd – 17th June at The Mercury Theatre in Colchester Essex. If you wish to know more about the show and interested in booking tickets, then you can follow this link by clicking HERE.

Until Next Time,

The VI Critic 


Promotional graphic. A black and white photo of a young girl sitting on a seawall looking out to sea. Written in the sea: “The Event’s by David Greig”.