Whilst queuing to get into the quaint venue at C Too, a grubby looking pirate gave me a poke and asked me if I was the one producing that ‘vile stench.’ The two children behind me promptly burst out in fits of giggles. I tried not to look too embarrassed and just smiled along. This charming pre-show set the tone for what was to be an absolutely enchanting journey with the Lincoln Company.
This vibrant and energetic company had the kids eating out of the palm of their hand within the first five minutes of this musical comedy. The parrot puppet narrator introduced us to the nautical setting and explained the current predicament of the coveted medallion - to be found in the ‘Chest of Jules’- and the race between two pirates, Codless and Blackbeard, to find it. The well-known plot device of a disgruntled girl disguising herself as a boy to be part of crew was performed with such conviction that I quickly forgot how hackneyed the idea could have been.
The cast quickly established their quirky characters with very noticeable gestures, accents and facial expressions, capturing both adults and children alike. The company did well in exciting both generations at the same time. They blended modern day topical references like the Olympics and calling the ship’s navigator TomTom with tried and tested pantomime traditions of ‘he’s behind you’ and ‘oh no he isn’t!’
This balance between old and new continued throughout the show with the use of multimedia which captured the children, keeping them guessing constantly. The character of Blackbeard is bought into the show at various intervals on a projector screen and the interaction between the pre-recorded footage and the live actors on stage was very impressive.
The energy from each member of the company was what made this production so special. A simple plot full of jokes, audience interaction, bright costumes and musical numbers, this show is a fun-filled hours viewing. The group were generally stronger actors than singers as I felt the songs were the only points where the full force of energy dropped somewhat. Despite this, the performers’ enthusiasm and their amazing relationship with the audience completely won me over.
There is something for everyone is this exciting show; jokes for the adults, swashbuckling sword fights and sloppy kissing for the kids, ‘Eww that’s GROSS!’ - a young audience member announced -and good old fashioned water pistols and bubbles to keep the fathers who have been dragged along by the family on alert. It is so refreshing to see children sit still on the edge of their seats, eyes wide at a group of adults bopping around on stage. Jump aboard for an hour of interactive fun. Definitely worth your pieces of eight!