Treasure Island by Alan P Frayn
30th January 2016
Easy Street Theatre Co
The Library Theatre, Sheffield
Type of Production
Author: Jo Sykes
The classic story of Treasure Island, written by Robert Louis Stevenson and enjoyed by generations of children, was given a clever and comic twist into a pantomime script by Alan Frayn. The opening number, ‘Join the Panto Like You Wanted to…’ left the audience in no doubt that this wasn’t a traditional telling of the tale and from then on the audience was transported into pantoland.
The cast, under the expert direction of Sallianne Foster-Major, enjoyed themselves as well as ensuring that the audience did too. James Godfrey as the panto dame, Rosie Bloom, played to great effect, giving us all the traditional ‘dame’ gems with a maturity beyond his 21 years. (Well done for wearing such high shoes.) Sam McElhattan’s portrayed Long John Silver as a mean, twisted character, but managed to do so with great humour – all whilst walking on one leg! I enjoyed the comedy interaction between Blind Ali (Ethan Carley) and Sea Snake Sally (Claudia Prados-Peach) who both maintained their characters with huge humour throughout the show. Dylan Lambert as Billy Barnacle was very entertaining and frighteningly good at acting as a drunk.
The hero of the story, Jim, was strongly played by Alistair Machin, who together with principal girl - Penny, Antonia Santos-Cropper, gave a beautiful rendition of ‘Can’t Fight That Feeling Any More’ despite the ongoing and incredibly funny comedy activity behind them. Huge credit to them both for not joining in the raucous laughter of the audience.
There was good characterisation in five smaller roles by Rhys Quinn, Luke Speddings, Georgia Crossland, Evie Preston and Ben Wilcox (as trainee pirates Jolly Roger, Pirate Pete, Cut-throat Kate, Deadly Daisy and Salty Sam respectively). I also enjoyed the hilarious portrayal of Barmy Ben by Thomas Ferris, who together with Thomas Baycroft (the Squire), Harry Foster-Major (Captain Mullet), Becca Lee (Potty Patsy) and Harriet Wade (Spirit of the Seas) completed this young, but very talented cast.
Clever choreography by Amanda Tyas allowed some of the more skilled dancers to entertain us whilst still feeling that they were very much part of the action and story line. All of the cast clearly projected their lines and the inspired use of accents by some characters was maintained throughout. The set was simple and effective, making good use of both the stage and auditorium by the performers. The costumes were great for the production and the work which had gone in to producing both a chorus A and a chorus B must be applauded as it gave more young people the opportunity to be part of this great production.
Congratulations to everyone involved in the production.