Children’s shows review: Ruby Redfort

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Lauren Child has gifted the children’s literary world with a number of female heroines: Lola, Clarice Bean and, most inspiring of all, Ruby Redfort.

Assembly George Square Theatre (Venue 8)

***

The smart and funny 13-year-old has sleuthed her way through five different adventures, the first of which – Look Into My Eyes – has been adapted for the stage by new theatre company, Escapade.

If you’re not familiar with the book, the narrative can feel complicated at times – an ancient Tibetan statue, the Jade Buddha of Khotan, is coming to a museum in Redfort’s hometown of Twinford, USA, and plans are afoot to steal it. Equally, the language used here will fly over the head of some younger audience members.

But generally, there’s enough energy, wit and drive to keep everyone interested and, as the tale unfolds, the sense of intrigue mounts. A colourful but compact set does little to create a sense of place, so it’s all down to the performers to fill our imaginations with Ruby’s palatial home, the villain’s lair and the museum, which they largely achieve.

The characterisation is a little rough round the edges, but Child’s tale shines through and fans of the book will enjoy seeing Ruby brought to life with such verve.

Until 28 August.