A show about choose your own adventure books presented as a choose your own adventure in the world of a documentary. The audience is entrusted with a series of options at each juncture to decide where the next step of the documentation goes, whether to interview a psychic or a graphologist, to stake out or come back later. The documentary begins with the search for the owner of the books whom Nathan Penlington has bought on Ebay. The route to take to track the previous owner down and where it eventually leads is down to the audience making these obscure choices and each followed by a section of recorded footage and Penlington to help guiding through the journey.

Penlington’s naturalistic style and his enthusiasm for the subject makes it an engaging performance. It feels a bit rough and ready in parts but that is part of the charm of the show and the documentary itself. Part of the audience will naturally be disappointed by the decision taken but that’s part of the joy in being led in an unexpected direction. Either way, it is not necessarily obvious whether the group has made the right or wrong decision. The show claims to have 1566 possibilities and it will be interesting to see at least a few more alternatives. Failing that, Penlington book The Boy in the Book, the full story of the search will be published later this year. So it will at least be another way to find out more about the show.

Additional edit (26th May, 2014): A second visit of this show fills in some gaps from the first visit and brings a much more satisfying ending to the show. There is also a magic trick and some other fun alternatives.


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