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  PROJECTS: Forest Boy  






On 2 September 2011 a boy appeared in Berlin with no memory of who he was other than his name was "Ray" and that, for the past five years, he had lived with his father in the forests of Germany. The German authorities took the boy into care and began a nine- month, global search to find out just who "Ray" was a where he'd come from. After a photograph was finally published in May 2012 it was discovered that "Ray" was, in fact, called Robin Van Helsum - a Dutch runaway who'd escaped his life in the Netherlands and trekked across the border to start a new life in Berlin as "Ray", the Forest Boy.


The worlds media went wild as the story of "Ray" took this unexpected turn. Day by day, more information on who this boy really was appeared turning him and his story into an internet sensation. Now we are nearly a year on and Robin Van Helsum has gone missing again, unable to answer for the hurt and trouble he has caused and also why he did it.

Forest Boy is his story. It explores the magic of his fairytale hoax that gripped the world and the aftershock of its undoing. It is theatrical retelling of a story about lies, growing up and above all imagination.


Forest Boy is a new piece of musical theatre by award-winning writing partnership Scott Gilmour and Claire McKenzie. It is a visceral and unique piece of theatre developed with the students at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. 


Claire McKenzie


Book & Lyrics

Scott Gilmour

Forest Boy won the S & S Award for Best Musical In Development 2013. It is currently being developed for a new workshop in London Kay 2015


"the future of British Musical theatre is in safe hands. Forest Boy promises to be one of the outstanding achievements of the Fringe this year".

Broadway Baby


" Hauntingly poweful music. Their goal to create and develop fresh and innovative music theatre has certainly been realised."

The Herald


"'a haunting score, this is a tantalising story told with total commitment"

British Theatre Guide


"'a simultaneously earthy and soaringly fantastical production. Mature, emotive songs performed with great harmonies"

Three Weeks

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