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The Incredible Adventures of See Thru Sam

Tron Theatre, Glasgow
4 stars
Heroes and villains mean everything when you’re a teenager, especially 
one who’s living in a world of his own like Sam. Sam used to be 
invisible, but once his mum and dad prove to be thoroughly mortal in a 
car crash, he loses those powers, and starts to be noticed. Even so, as 
Sam tells the audience his not so secret origin from the off he has a 
destiny to fulfil.

Or so it seems in Johnny McKnight’s fantastical rites of passage 
strip-cartoon adventure, in which Sam, his side-kick best pal Walrus, 
and maybe, just maybe his very own super girl Violet take on the world. 
In Sam’s head, this comes in the shape of evil genius Uncle Herbie and 
Violet’s bullying boyfriend. The power of the imagination can only take 
a small-town school-boy so far, it seems, no matter how high Sam is 
aiming.

McKnight’s own production for Random Accomplice takes an array of comic 
book idioms and brings them to life via a set of meticulously timed 
animations which are projected behind the action, illustrating it as 
Sam tells his doomed tale. Such quick-fire displays by animator Jamie 
Macdonald and video designer Kim Beveridge on Lisa Sangster’s set 
allows an insight into Sam’s mind that makes total sense of James 
Mackenzie and Julie Brown flitting between roles in an instant.

There’s a potty-mouthed gallows humour in McKnight’s script that lifts 
things beyond sentiment in a powerfully observed study of adolescent 
angst. As Sam reaches for the stars, unable to reconcile himself with 
real life, McKnight has dreamt up an awfully big adventure worth taking 
the leap for.

The Herald, September 24th 2012

ends

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