Review: Treasure Island - Enjoyable take on old favourite

treasure island
treasure island

A young cast brought an old favourite to life at The Undercroft in Serpentine Green on Saturday.

It was one of two performances at the venue, part of a mini tour of the Peterborough area for the Lamphouse Theatre’s production of Treasure Island.

It was a loose and modern interpretation of the Stevenson classic from the three-strong cast, who performed well as a whole with some fine individual moments to enjoy.

The compact venue is made for relaxed, almost intimate performances and Ella Cook, Maisie Barlow and James Blake-Butler certainly delivered - on a stage no more than 10ft by 6ft with a collection of makeshift props.

It’s the Admiral Benbow Inn, where our story begins and Jim (Ella transformed with a cap) is visited by the mysterious Billy Bones (Maisie’s first incarnation).

Warnings about a peg-legged pirate, Billy’s almost comical death (it is aimed at age 6+), the discovery of a treasure map and some clever chase scenes later, and the stage is transformed (stepladders, broom handles and a bed sheet) to The Hispaniola which sets sail for Treasure Island.

Again with a little imagination (and great direction I suspect from Tom Fox) the tiny stage becomes the Island, home to Captain Flint’s treasure... and the crazed Benn Gunn, played superbly by Maisie and definitely generating the most laughs from an appreciative audience.

I did chuckle too at Long John Silver (James) making off with a share of the treasure - at great haste for a man on one leg using a broom handle as a crutch! The lighting was used to terrific effect too, particularly on the ship when Jim discovers Silver’s dastardly plot to steal the treasure.

You can see Treasure Island on Thursday at 7pm at Holme Village Hall; on Friday at 7pm at Crowland Abbey; on Saturday at 3pm at Rosmini Centre, Wisbech; and on Saturday at 7.30pm at Paston Farm Centre.