Amberville, or A Hard Town For Soft Toys
A combination of children's story and the hard-boiled school of Raymond Chandler, Dashiell Hammett and Ross Macdonald. It sounds strange, but this is the world of Amberville, Tim Davys' debut novel. One day Eric Bear is visited by casino owner Nicholas Dove, his former boss, who makes Bear a truly attractive offer. Dove's name features on the Death List, and Bear's task is to find the list and remove Dove's name from it, or Dove's henchmen will mess with his girlfriend, Emma Rabbit. A textbook opening for a gangster story – with the difference that Bear, Dove and Emma are all soft toys.
The best thing about the novel is the contrast between the children's toys and the cruelty of which they are capable, since we do not expect such cute little animals to be capable of the same cruelty as the heroes of “ordinary” B movies. The question of how exactly the author sees the soft toys remains unanswered throughout. Are they like the characters in animated films, who move by themselves, or are we meant to imagine the hand of an adolescent child behind the story, manipulating them and acting out the scenes?
Tim Davys, the pseudonym of the novel's Swedish author, allegedly hides a well-known and publicly-active figure. Amberville is his debut novel. Davys' book has already been published in over 20 countries, but our theatre is at present the only one in the world to have received permission to dramatise it!
Premiere: 27 may 2011
The production is aimed at children aged 14 and over and adults