Edinburgh Festival Fringe children’s show review: The Falcon’s Malteser by Anthony Horowitz, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Alison Kerr.
This is a hugely entertaining family show based on a comedy crime book for kids, which was, of course, inspired by Dashiell Hammett’s classic private eye novel The Maltese Falcon.
Tim Diamond and his 13-year-old brother Nick run the Diamond Detective Agency. Tim may wear the trenchcoat and fedora but it’s young Nick who wears the trousers, brains-wise, since their real surname –Simple – is perfect for the dopey elder detective.
The case of The Falcon’s Malteser begins when a Mexican midget named Johnny Naples (cue much hilarity as the forgetful Tim variously refers to him as Mr Venice and Mr Nipples) hires them to safeguard a package, which turns out to include nothing but an apparently innocuous box of Maltesers.
Shortly thereafter Johnny Naples turns up dead – and suddenly, the brothers find themselves having to deal with such unsavoury characters as criminal mastermind The Fat Man (“the biggest crook in England”) and his henchman, Himmel, while solving the mystery of the chocolate sweeties.
It takes a little while to get going but once it hits its stride, The Falcon’s Malteser is terrific fun, with lots of laughs for all age groups. Two of the actors play multiple characters, and sing songs (the Chief Inspector’s rap is particularly impressive) – all with great panache.
The scene changes are ingenious and a delight to behold: the same set is used throughout the show but imaginatively adapted with great humour. There is even a high-speed car chase involving two desk chairs on wheels and headlamps strapped to somebody’s knees.
Put it this way: even the most hard-to-impress, CGI-savvy, youngsters will get a kick out of this show – and it’s one of the fastest hours on the Fringe for their parents.
Pleasance Courtyard (Venue 33) until 31 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 26 August 2015
Edinburgh Festivals 2015: complete coverage
• Get everything on our Festivals homepage – on desktop, mobile or tablet
• Looking for reviews? Check out the latest Scotsman reviews – or browse all the reviews ranked by star rating
• Don’t miss a thing: sign up to our daily email newsletter
• Watch all the latest videos from the #WOWwagon
• Get distracted by our Festival Blog
• Check out today’s half-price ticket deals
• Follow our social accounts on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram – and join the conversation with #WOWfest
• Download the WOW247 app for iOS and Android