Coburn, Ann. Alex and the Warrior. Oberon Books, 2004. ISBN 1840025026. Contact publisher regarding price. 78 p.
Reviewer: Rebeca Wallin
Reading Level: Intermediate
Genre: Plays; Christmas plays; Humorous plays;
Subject: Christmas--Juvenile drama; Video games--Juvenile drama; Children's plays; Drama--Reviews;
Theme: A brave man does the right thing.
Production Requirements: Fairly complicated production requirements involving sets, lights, sound, and costumes. Requires large frame and a snowstorm.
Run Time: 75-90 minutes
Cast: 4 male, 1 female
Time Period: Present day
The play begins with a young boy named Alex, whose grandfather is in the hospital. Due to the recent death of his father, the hospitalization upsets Alex so much that he refuses to go with his mother for a visit. He finds solace in his favorite video game, involving a Warrior and evil villains called Skarg. He wishes that the Warrior could come help him rescue his grandfather from the hospital. Since it is Christmas Eve, this wish comes true, and the Warrior comes out of the screen to help him. They leave for the hospital and are secretly followed by two Skarg intent on capturing them. Through various adventures Alex and the Warrior trick the Skarg, and the Warrior returns with them into the screen. Along the way Alex realizes, with the help of Warrior, that rescuing his grandfather from the hospital may not be the best plan. The script is full of theatrical conventions, some work well and some do not. A large frame upstage works well, representing several things, including the screen that the video game characters come out of. The oft repeated image of a snow globe with a father and son building a snowman inside it is successfully used to portray the relationship between Alex and his father. In the show, Alex has a pet cat who can speak to the audience but not to the actors. The cat speaks in rhyming couplets, which is more forced and distracting than successful. Most of the jokes involving the Skarg are not funny. This play would probably appeal most to young boys who enjoy video games.
Volume 30, no. 5 (May/June 2010)
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