Treasure Island

BCMCS Youth Theatre

Until March 16

WITH an impressive set, complete with insets and rigging depicting a typical pirate ship, the Hispaniola is set ready to sail with an enthusiastic gang of shipmates who take the stage by storm, ensuring everything is ship shape and Bristol fashion, to the delight of a 1st night capacity audience.

A lively opening ensues, set in the dour pub, the Admiral Benbow, owned by Jim Hawkins and his Mother, as Billy Bones tells us of the antics of Captain Flint who killed 15 men after burying his treasure. Ava Devaney as Narrator displays delightful vocals and Amy Stainton as Blind Pew relaxes into several other minor roles, showing great versatility.

Jonathan Allen once again displays his enigmatic stage presence as Long John Silver, giving a credible performance throughout. His long suffering parrot is safe in the hands, or should that be wings, of Bethany Wood. Libby Hill takes charge with a powerful and expressive characterisation as Squire Trelawney and is ably supported by Scott Williamson (Billy Bones), Anna Lilley (Mr Arrow) and Grace Fielding (Doctor Livesey)

Lucas Hodgson-Wale is a perfect Jim Hawkins. He looked just right and showed vocal dexterity and a controlled delivery that allowed the audience to warm to him from start to finish – a great performance.

Proving to be a terrific comedy double, Kurtis Greenhalgh as perfectly unconvincing tough pirate Black Dog and James Howcroft as a rather camp Big Jesse were well matched and displayed some well-timed comedy and treated us to a stunning rendition of “I Wanna Go Home”, complete with dance routine that brought the house down. The comedy continued with a very impressive presentation by Holly Meadows as Ben Gunn. The song “I’d Rather have a Lump of Cheese” was brilliant and allowed Holly to show us her natural talent for comedy and all that comes with making an audience laugh. Really well done and not over played.

“Sail Away” and “We’re Gonna Be Rich” were cracking numbers, nicely choreographed by Nathaniel Elechi and Catherine Howard. Katherine Wilkinson, who has been involved in every BCMCS Youth Theatre production since 1985, takes the baton as Musical Director, ensuring the young cast are in perfect pitch. An energetic chorus of pirates and Flints Phantom Crew provide more than adequate backing.

Sam Hill has done a great job in directing his first youth production. His cast have done him proud and he should be more than pleased with the results displayed in the productions opening performance.

If you want to be reminded of the antics in this timeless piece, get along and grab a ticket – you will not be disappointed.

Paul Cohen