By Alan Davies
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
ROBERT Louis Stevenson’s buccaneering adventure Treasure Island can be found on stage in Welwyn Garden City this week.
Treasure Island – it is one of those classic novels that we all think we know.
Long John Silver, Jim Hawkins, and wasn’t there something about a spot…?
And that’s part of the reasoning behind Blue Orange Theatre’s new production – appearing at the Hawthorne Theatre, in Welwyn Garden City, on Friday – because actually it’s not as well-known as you might think.
Hollywood and various adaptations of questionable accuracy (the Muppets, anyone?) have diluted the story too much, and too often there’s been a reliance on “Aaaarrr, Jim lad” dialogue.
But this production returns to the text and gives us a fast-paced adventure yarn.
Jim Hawkins and his mother are happy running the Admiral Benbow Inn until the arrival of an old sea dog, Billy Bones.
Barely escaping death when a number of pirates descend on the inn in search of Billy’s papers, Jim comes into possession of the notes, which contain a map showing the location of the pirate Flint’s buried treasure.
Jim and his new ally, Doctor Livesey, are determined to find it, so they fit out a ship and find an old seaman who can help them hire a crew.
But unfortunately this is only the start of their problems.
With a cast of six actor-musicians portraying a vast array of characters, this version is full of derring-do, quick changes and live music.
Suitable for adults and children alike – and featuring some brilliant fight scenes – this production of Treasure Island will make you feel like you’re encountering the story anew again. Who knows, you may even want to run away to sea afterwards!
* Blue Orange presents Treasure Island, at the Hawthorne Theatre, WGC, on Friday, October 18 at 7.30pm.
Tickets are £15, £12 concessions, and £40 for a family of four.