Artistic Discoveries in European Schoolyards

National Productions | 2010, May 25

The Mystery of Jack and the Clones of Chaos

As part of Pilot's Platform Festival in May the opening night of Richard Hurford's new play will be at the Studio stage.

Thirteen year old Jack has his own bedroom and he likes it that way. But everything changes when the “Clones of Chaos” move in. They look just like him, but they say and do weird things that get him into all sorts of trouble. Even his own parents don’t know who he is anymore. Can Jack discover who the “Clones of Chaos” really are and why they’re picking on him – before they take over his world forever?


written by Richard Hurford
Director Katie Posner
Design Lydia Denno
Actors Bryn Holding

  • By Charles Hutchinson »

RICHARD Hurford’s short new play for imaginative children aged eight and upwards will be staged twice during Pilot Theatre’s week of half-term workshops and performances for the European project Platform 11+.

This is the second Hurford show to be set in a bedroom this season, the other being the on-going Catcher, an adult study of the fatal attraction of fame.

Not for a moment would I wish to link the plays, but both affirm Hurford’s uncanny ability to climb inside the head of someone seeking to work out his identity and place in the world.

In the case of 13-year-old Jack, his bedroom is invaded by the Clones of Chaos, each of them a physical expression of a facet of his developing character as he takes the mysterious first steps towards adulthood.

The conflicting personalities of Jack in transition are all played by the flexible, friendly, time-travelling Adult Jack, a chance for the fresh-faced Bryn Holding to take on myriad accents and guises, from Cool Jack to The Mighty Jackman, with absolute glee.

Holding makes the maximum use of Lydia Denno’s bedroom design, popping up from unexpected entry points, to the delights of the transfixed young audience.

Just when everything could become a little too weird, Katie Posner’s enchanting production introduces Mark Lee Armstrong Smith’s more grounded Young Jack to make sense of that perennial teenage question Who Am I?

Growing up is never easy but Hurford’s play captures the thrill of the possibilities with absolute assurance.

The Mystery Of Jack And The Clones Of Chaos, The Studio, York Theatre Royal, today and Friday, 4pm. Box office: 01904 623568