Review: The House that Jackson Built, Half Moon Theatre
5.0Overall Score

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Stories can help you escape reality and transport you into magical worlds – that is the message that The House That Jackson Built conveys to children. The Justin Coe Production is presented by Half Moon Theatre and delivers an hour of sublime entertainment to children, who will find themselves mesmerised by the magic of storytelling.

In the pre-recorded one-man show, Justin Coe plays a mysterious traveller named Jackson. Jackson is a librarian and shares the story of how his library came to existence. We join Jackson as he travels back to his childhood – to the moment when he lost his mother and falls out with his father. He finds escape in the world of books and gets taken on great adventures by the story fairy.

Coe is equipped with a large pop-up book that he sets up in the middle of a blacked-out stage. It becomes the vessel for Jackson’s endearing stories of mice, crocodiles and storms that threaten to sink his ship. The book is filled with wondrous stories and charming puppetry as Jackson journeys through the world of tales to help a giant with a speech impediment, and manages to cross a dangerous river in Africa and builds a raft out of wood from a poetry tree. The book is not only the house that Jackson built (his library) but also the house that built Jackson; the house that he grew up in.

The House That Jackson Built tells the story of Jackson’s life – how he overcame the loss of his mother, learned to love his father, and discovered the magic of books. It touches upon important topics such as climate change, death and the importance of reading and imagining. Coe’s delivery is entirely in rhyme and catchy phrases such as “fee-fi-fo-fum” or “skiddlyboos” will make any child’s heart jump.

Supported by a beautiful sound design from Johnny Tomlinson and clever cinematography, The House That Jackson Built is an enthusiastic piece of theatre. It promotes important ideas such as the magic of stories and letting your mind imagine. Coe’s enthusiastic delivery and catchy performance will make you smile and feel like you are part of a big adventure yourself.

The show has interactive moments and inspires children to verbally engage with the show to assist Jackson in his endeavours. All in all, it is superb children’s theatre that draws you into “the land of stories”.

The House That Jackson Built is playing online until 12 March 2021. For more information and tickets visit Half Moon Theatre’s website.