‘Humpty Dumpty is Missing’ Review
Disappointing Ending Unfair to Exciting Show
Published: Monday, November 5, 2012
Updated: Monday, November 5, 2012 17:11
Nobody likes a shrieking 10-year-old girl. But everyone likes fine acting. This is what the opening night attendees of the FMCT’s Children’s Studio Theatre’s production of “Humpty Dumpty is Missing” took away with them after the Oct. 31 performance. Yes, excellent theatrics and young girls whose screams were as piercing as they were unnecessary; the two main mementos the average theatergoer left with from this Halloween night performance.
Screams aside, the young thespians’ debut show of Joseph Robinette’s “Humpty Dumpty is Missing” was easy to watch. The acting was very fine, and several members of the cast should be commended on their efforts. Certainly everyone involved deserves a pat on the back, and can consider their production a success.
This production, by the way, is tailor-made for children, so it is no surprise why this group of young people (who probably all love theatre anyway) gave such a commendable performance. The plot is quite simple. It mirrors that of a film noir, and follows private investigator Sammy Scoop and his secretary Alice (of Wonderland fame) on their mission to find the perpetrator of Humpty Dumpty’s fall from the wall.
Classic storybook characters such as Rapunzel, Henny Penny, Rip Van Winkle and many, many more all make appearances as suspects in this drama. As Sammy and Alice interrogate each one, the plot thickens as it appears all the fairytale favorites have a motive for doing away with everyone’s favorite egg. Sammy and Alice, with the aid of deductive reasoning and a tape measure, discover the criminal, much to the audience’s confusion.
What threw the audience for a loop about the ending was why the perpetrator had to be the police chief. This was made even more confusing when it was revealed that he is not the police chief, he is the please chief. Yes. Very confusing. It took a fair amount of dialogue to explain away the nagging questions the audience had in their minds about this ending, and that was not good. Out of all the possible plot twists of who could have pushed Humpty Dumpty, writer Robinette chose a very dissatisfying one indeed.
This disappointing ending simply does not do any of the previous scenes justice. With such exciting interrogation scenes by Sammy and Alice with all the characters they questioned, it disappoints the audience to learn the perpetrator’s identity. This ending was made even more unsatisfying after Sammy and Alice took the time to explain what the heck a “please chief” is. That was one plot twist this play could have done without.
Those screaming girls are also another example of something that this play would have been better off without. Heaven only knows why Little Bo Peep, Red Riding Hood and Henny Penny needed to scream at the top of their lungs at our two main characters during perfectly civil conversations. It certainly took away from the performance, and was as annoying as it was uncalled for.
What really made this performance was, again, the acting. The young people of this play did a swell job, and were totally deserving of the excess applause on opening night. It is almost sad that this play had to end in the way that it did, but the actors cannot be blamed for how the writer chooses to end it. They can be and should be commended on a fine performance, and wished all the best in their theatre careers.
“Humpty Dumpty is Missing” was performed by the FMCT’s Children’s Studio Theatre at The Stage at Island Park from Oct. 31 to Nov. 4.