The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish (3 stars)

The theatre production, adapted from Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean's book, is performed with gusto

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The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish

Photo: Tommy Ga-Ken Wan

Sitting in a dark room and keeping quiet for an hour isn’t for everyone – especially if you’re under ten. Promenade theatre solves that problem, with movement actively encouraged and the odd noise generally tolerated.

So on that front, The Day I Swapped My Dad For Two Goldfish is a great introduction to theatre. Moving from room to room, there’s little chance to get bored, and every opportunity to engage with the storyline and characters. Whether this show takes its audience on any kind of journey, other than the physical one, is another question.

Desperate to procure his friend’s shiny new goldfish, a young boy casts around for swappable items in his home. Finding nothing of worth, he offers up his own father – a man who constantly hides behind his newspaper rather than engage with his children. Forced to get him back, or risk the wrath of his mother, the young boy sets off on a quest, ‘annoying’ little sister in tow, and meets a myriad of eccentrics along the way.

Despite being brought to the stage by a talented team, and performed with gusto by a dynamic cast, the story itself operates on one fairly superficial level. A subtle exploration of sibling rivalry and parental engagement painted on top would have left us with far more to think about.

Tron Theatre, Glasgow, Wed 22–Fri 24 May.

The Day I Swapped My Dad for Two Goldfish

Tom and his little sister really, really, really want a goldfish. So why not swap dad to get one? Mum can offer a few good reasons, and so she sends the pair out on an adventure to get their father back. A new stage adaptation based on a book by Neil Gaiman and Dave McKean. Suitable for ages 6–10.

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