Treasure Island

Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale is given a family-friendly and wonderfully whimsical adaptation in this new production by Fourth Monkey. Renowned for their physical theatre work, here the company have tailored their style to their audience, providing an ultimately entertaining if unchallenging hour of theatre.

The separation of the actors does allow for some great comical moments to creep in; references to modern culture and theatre in-jokes that would be out of place in a traditional retelling help to bring the show to life.

The show looks to give a different angle to the well known and well trodden story from the outset, with the cast assembling onstage out of character, showing us that what we are watching is a play and that they are actors telling a story. This is a refreshing and frank change from the normal form of children’s shows, at times enhancing the effect and comedy of the show by putting the audience on their level and letting them in on their joke. This technique does lead to moments of tension in the piece though, with the flow between the action and the breaking of the fourth wall stilting the production at points and often feeling more awkward than funny.

The separation of the actors does allow for some great comical moments to creep in; references to modern culture and theatre in-jokes that would be entirely out of place in a more traditional retelling help to bring the show to life. Pitch-perfect gags about that scene from Titanic, Mission: Impossible and the many, many varieties of cheese are clever enough to entertain the adults and irreverent enough to delight the kids.

The moments in which the production really shines are in the ensemble sequences and tableaus created in vivid scenic tapestries of light, sound and movement on stage. From the assembled seamen getting progressively drunk and being swayed back and forth hypnotically by the ebbing of the sea to the epic battle on the beaches between the ship’s crew and the pirates, there is a palpable magic that appears when the ensemble move as one. These points of enchanting action really carry the piece - oh, and the actress who was a door for the first half of the show. Absolutely brilliant.

While collectively stunning, at times the individual performances seem to wander from the piece, distracting viewers from the story being told. This, paired with the direct addresses to the audience, occasionally leads to the momentum of the production being lost, upsetting the fascination of the crowd.

The Airplane and Naked Gun-type silliness of humour in the show will have kids and parents giggling left, right and centre; the madcap antics of the ensemble onstage are delightfully entertaining more often than not. There is, however, a disparity between some of the performers who throw themselves wholeheartedly into the silliness of the production and some who feel like they are holding back. An enjoyable piece of inventive theatre, Treasure Island goes a long way towards creating a living and breathing land of enchantment for the audience; a little more cohesion in the cast would cement this no end and create a great piece of children’s theatre.

Reviews by Andy Smith

Just the Tonic at The Mash House

Tomas Ford Stop Killing People

★★★
The Stand Comedy Club III & IV

Alistair Green: Nobody’s Twisting Your Arm

★★★
Traverse Theatre

SmallWar

★★★
Laughing Horse @ The Counting House

The Sons of Pitches: Boiler Alert!

★★★★★
Pleasance Courtyard

Ian Smith – Flappable

★★★★
Pleasance Dome

McNeil and Pamphilon Go 8-Bit!

★★★★

Since you’re here…

… we have a small favour to ask. We don't want your money to support a hack's bar bill at Abattoir, but if you have a pound or two spare, we really encourage you to support a good cause. If this review has either helped you discover a gem or avoid a turkey, consider doing some good that will really make a difference.

You can donate to the charity of your choice, but if you're looking for inspiration, there are three charities we really like.

Mama Biashara
Kate Copstick’s charity, Mama Biashara, works with the poorest and most marginalised people in Kenya. They give grants to set up small, sustainable businesses that bring financial independence and security. That five quid you spend on a large glass of House White? They can save someone’s life with that. And the money for a pair of Air Jordans? Will take four women and their fifteen children away from a man who is raping them and into a new life with a moneymaking business for Mum and happiness for the kids.
Donate to Mama Biashara now

Theatre MAD
The Make A Difference Trust fights HIV & AIDS one stage at a time. Their UK and International grant-making strategy is based on five criteria that raise awareness, educate, and provide care and support for the most vulnerable in society. A host of fundraising events, including Bucket Collections, Late Night Cabarets, West End Eurovision, West End Bares and A West End Christmas continue to raise funds for projects both in the UK and Sub-Saharan Africa.
Donate to Theatre MAD now

Acting For Others
Acting for Others provides financial and emotional support to all theatre workers in times of need through the 14 member charities. During the COVID-19 crisis Acting for Others have raised over £600,000 to support theatre workers affected by the pandemic.
Donate to Acting For Others now

Performances

Location

The Blurb

Critically acclaimed Fourth Monkey present a fast-paced and funny mistelling of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic. A group of beautiful fools take on one of the most famous adventure stories in history. Be amazed how they tackle subjects such as greed, good vs. evil, and who will play the parrot… Be stunned at their ability to take you on a journey over land and sea. Will Jim finish his quest to find the treasure? Would it make him happy anyway? And will anyone ever work out what Pew is trying to say?

Most Popular See More

The Phantom of the Opera

From £27.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Matilda the Musical

From £25.00

More Info

Find Tickets

The Prince of Egypt

From £21.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Everybody's Talking About Jamie

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Come From Away

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets

Mary Poppins

From £24.00

More Info

Find Tickets