Do you, like us, think ‘Watership Down’ could’ve done with being just a bit more harrowing? Do you feel ‘The Animals of Farthing Wood’ wimped out when it came to woodland creatures in mortal danger? Is ‘Bambi’ for losers? Then you’ll love the forthcoming ‘Misery Forest’ series, the latest project from beloved children’s author Mr Children Man.
A twisted character creation from the mind of The Beta Males’ Adam Blampied, Mr Children Man is the author of the famous ‘Fabulous Fergus’ books, a series of pre-school stories featuring days out to the circus, trips to the swimming pool and the most deep-seated psychological issues this side of ‘Mommie Dearest’. He’s ostensibly on tour promoting the second in his planned ‘Fergus’ trilogy; however, if you’re well-behaved, he might also offer a sneak peak of the forthcoming ‘Animals of Misery Forest’ saga, as well as some tales from his own life.
Mr Children Man’s extensive bibliography also includes a copyright-infringing infant picture book, an excruciating best man speech and a Choose Your Own Adventure novel, giving Blampied ample room to play. While many solo character shows suffer from a unique premise that quickly wears thin, Blampied can diverge from Mr Children Man’s catalogue of neuroses to embody ‘Misery Forest’ characters like the chain-smoking Fox or (a show highlight) the enigmatic Madame Horse. It’s a beautifully warped vision that’s aided by the venue: a cramped, hot, late night attic space that chimes with the author’s increasing desperation – though we’d have happily seen him in the kids’ yurt at the Book Festival for maximum effect.