Captain Morgan and the Sands of Time

Watching this show is like experiencing fallout from an imagination bomb. For just one hour allow yourself to be sucked into the weird and wonderful world of Captain Morgan and his faithful sidekick Hammond as they cleverly take you on a fearsome journey across land and sea. On a quest for Morgan's father, they must do battle with monsters and the Royal Navy as they are swept from brothels to caves and from ships to islands. There is no tech, no props and no need for either, as this remarkable duo from Tap Tap Theatre effortlessly play forty-four characters including a mute, skeletons and a pair of cockney Siamese twins.

Joe Newton and Ed Richards sell each character with energy that never falters and with expressions and accents that can only have been learned from a childhood of playing 'pretend'. They have done more than just rehearse this - they have drilled themselves to the point where it becomes so slick that the action zips along, never slowing for so much as a second. With so many characters, one might worry that the piece lacks clarity, which it doesn't. It is well blocked (almost choreographed) and I never wondered who was who.

Clarity is helped by a cheeky, light script which laughs at the simplest things, without a line that seems lewd or out of place. No joke is forced and there is a delicate balance between narrative and prose, lest we forget the music that also accompanies the story. A solitary fiddler provides the only sound effects or additions to the mood and Davey J. Ridley deserves rapturous applause for his score and a performance that held no errors and helped transport us to another time and place with our feet tapping along all the while.

Unlike Morgan and his companions, you won’t need a map to find this treasure, as the queue is round the block. The room was rammed and word has got out that this glorious ship has arrived in the local port. You'd be a royal landlubber to miss it; indeed it is an honour to watch them. Tap Tap prove that you can make theatre anywhere, with barely anything; if you want a lesson in commitment, look no further.

Performances

The Blurb

Two actors. One musician. Forty-four characters. Pirates quest for the secrets of time travel in a rip-roaring adventure comedy, featured on BBC Radio. ‘Comic genius ... raucous barrel-of-laughs’ ***** (BristolTheatreReview.com). 'Incredible.’ ***** (Intermissionbristol.co.uk).