The Boy Who Fell Into A Book: Synopsis

Cast: 3 male / 3 female.
Running time (approximate): 1 hour 35 minutes - not including the interval.
Availability: The Boy Who Fell Into A Book is available for both professional and amateur production.
Acting edition: Published by Faber.
Note: This information on this page applies to the play rather than the musical.


Kevin (A boy of 10)
Rockfist Slim (A fictional detective)
Voice of Dad
Brunt (Her henchman)
A White Pawn
A Red Bishop
Gareth (A Red Knight)
The White Queen
The Grandmother / Wolf
Little Red Riding Hood
Voice of the Narrator
Daddy Woobly
Mummy Woobly
Baby Woobly
The Headless Monk

All roles except for Kevin and Rockfist Slim are doubled up.
Kevin is an under-the-sheets, bed-time reader currently engrossed in Rockfist Slim’s latest pulp detective adventure. He falls asleep while reading and finds himself in a smelting oven with Rockfist, trapped in the story he was reading. Initially sceptical, Rockfist agrees to help Kevin get home, if he helps him escape the oven. They escape only to literally fall into the hands of Rockfist’s enemy Monique, who works for Rockfist’s mysterious nemesis the Green Shark.

They escape Monique and find themselves in
Chess For Beginners. Here they discover to move from one book to the next, they have to follow the conventions of the genre including speaking in the same style of dialogue. Managing to cross the board they head into Grimm’s Fairy Tales, where they face off against the big bad wolf, helping Red Riding Hood save her grandma. They next find themselves in Robert Louis Stevenson’s Kidnapped. With knowledge of what is to come, Kevin believes he can outwit Ebenezer, only to discover Monique has discovered she too can travel through the books and is hot on their heels. They trick Monique by sending Ebenezer - who as a character in the story cannot die - out to face Monique and escape into one of Kevin’s baby sister’s Woobly books, inadvertently left on Kevin’s bookshelf.

The Wooblies are a family of large, primary coloured creatures who speak only by saying “woobly” with their adventures narrated by an unseen, omniscient narrator. Kevin and Rockfist, much to his chagrin, find themselves involved in a Woobly picnic, before moving into a book of ghost stories. Rockfist falls down a well and Kevin returns to his bedroom to read the end of the Rockfist novel to discover who the Green Shark really is. Unfortunately, Monique is waiting for him. She believes that by burning the novel, she will defeat Rockfist, but Kevin realises she cannot interact with the real world and cannot harm him. He sends her away and returns to the haunted mansion where Rockfist reveals Monique’s plan would have failed anyway, unless she had burnt every copy of the Rockfist books in the world. Kevin reveals Monique is the Green Shark and the pair part ways and return to their respective worlds.

With regard to the musical: The 2014 musical adaptation of The Boy Who Fell Into A Book follows the same plot as the play with only minor deviations: notably Red Riding Hood does not appear, Rumpelstiltskin's brief cameo becomes a song, it appears that Ebenezer is killed by Monique at the end of the Kidnapped scene and the Wooblies became the Wubblies (largely as an aid for rhyming in the Wubbly song).

Article by Simon Murgatroyd. Copyright: Haydonning Ltd. Please do not reproduce without permission of the copyright holder.