There are 100 million stars in the galaxy, we’re told in Alfie White: Space Explorer, and 100 million galaxies in the universe. That’s an awful lot of space for Alfie White to explore.
It’s 1967, and space is all he thinks about. He flies down the stairs in his apartment building. He looks both ways before crossing the intergalactic highway. In P.E., he gives up jumping jacks for space walks. At school, 'Alfie Alien' doesn’t really have friends. That is until he tells a little lie: his dad is astronaut Edward White, preparing for the Apollo 1 mission. Suddenly the kids are a bit more interested.
Alfie White is a charming story of discovering that there's as much to explore in the space you occupy in the world as there is between here and the moon. Directors Olivia Jacobs and Toby Mitchell never talk down to their audience. There are no unnecessary explanations about the space-race era; the story is enough to allow the children to catch up on their own.
Jordan Turner, all gangly limbs and excited smiles, captures the spirit of the young boy perfectly, while Lucy Tuck is delightful as Meg, the girl who teaches Alfie he just needs to learn how to stick up for himself.
Tall Stories packs a lot of narrative and information into this one-hour show, and older children will be able to find much in its depth. But the company deftly balances this over a simple narrative arc with engaging and physical performances, capturing the imaginations of younger children, too.