We gave it a B+
If the Cryptkeeper from those old EC horror comics staged a surreal cautionary tale for kiddies, he’d craft something like this British import. In a scaled-down, red-curtained proscenium redolent of David Lynch, René Magritte, and Victorian penny dreadfuls, a cadaverous emcee (Julian Bleach) and a mournful accordionist (Martyn Jacques) tell of a heedless thumbsucker whose thumbs get snipped off with scissors, a willful girl done in by nascent pyromania, and other unfortunates. The wheezing, singsong musical numbers grow monotonous at length, but there’s lots of wicked, witty stagecraft to be savored. Nightmare-prone youngsters, beware.