Reviewed by Donald Madgwick for The Croydon Advertiser
I am not sure whether they swash buckles or buckle swashes, so I shall play safe and just say this innovative panto by Richard Lloyd shivers a few timbers.
At the risk of being made to walk the plank myself, I say it could be tightened up quite a lot. The ending in particular, with its long-winded explanations and resolutions could certainly do with a touch of the cutlass.
Three cheers though for the novel idea of building a panto round a free-wheeling treatment of Treasure Island; for the ingenuity of its working; and for the rollicking spirit of an enthusiastic cast.
In a daring departure from tradition, Principal Girl Kimberley Argles, as bright as a new pin and plucky with it, and Claire Andreadis as clean-limbed a Principal Boy as ever graced the Admirable Bimbo Inn, actually desert each other for other lovers.
There’s modern for you. She belongs to the Quality, he to the deserving poor. her father is filthy rich Squire Polperro, high-handedly played by Timothy Young, lording it something rotten over Paul breden and Simon Crouch as his lackeys Bodmin and Newquay.
Mrs Ladd, mother to the Principal Boy, is played by Michael Brown, a splendid specimen of the three Rs of Dames; ripe, raddled and raucous. You can’t help liking one who can crack such terrible jokes with such an air of injured innocence.
Neil Grew’s Long John Slither is the three Os; overripe, outlandish and over the top. It suits the character well, and he lays on the accent, like everything else, with a trowel.
Richard Lloyd, author and director, brings a modicum of old-world dignity to the proceedings as a suave, wealthy Spaniard.
Mark Taylor is in charge of the music (good and loud), and the high standard of singing reflects the confidence of the cast.
Paul M Ford
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