All Aboard For Treasure Island!
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REVIEW: Treasure Island – Acting UP – Chesil Theatre – 10 April 2017
The culmination of the past term’s work for these talented 8-to-18-year olds came to Winchester last night in Acting UP’s interpretation of the Robert Louis Stevenson classic ‘Treasure Island’.
The production had it all – sea shanties, mystery, murder, sword fights, the treasure itself, ‘X’ marks the spot on the map, the ship, glam costumes, Long Joan Silver… whoah! Hold on… Long JOAN Silver? Well, yes… we had a Jane Hawkins too. Role reversal? Girl Power! We were very impressed with the meticulous delivery and performance from Long Joan (Lucy Newton) and Jane (Cora Banyard).
Charlie Sewell seemed to relish the part of Squire Trelawny in that costume, almost acting himself off the stage (great part, great fun) – and praise too for Jess Ridge as Captain Smollett. However, ALL those who took part deserve praise; the younger members of the cast were fearless and fun too.
Director Rosanna Sloan says the entire company has had a “lot of fun” bringing this together, and it certainly shows.
Of course, these kind of shows are ideal opportunities for any very young actor at this stage in their career to make mistakes, and learn from mistakes. I’ll put them here and hope I’m not made to walk the plank…
There was a tendancy to rush-through-some-of-the-lines-before-I-forget-them in a quarter of the speed that they actually need to be delivered in. We were stuck with some lighting cues which never arrived – not their fault, but there’s a need to carry on.
The Chesil Theatre is also plagued with traffic noise coming in from outside – and up at the back it was sometimes difficult to hear, so projection needed to be a little better in places. Also, the cast will eventually learn that when you talk across stage to someone, it’s still very important to face the audience when delivering the line, as the weaker voices will go in the wrong direction and be lost.
BUT, having said all this, (and I hope I’m not walking the plank at this stage!) – there is no doubt that all of them have the one thing that matters: ENTHUSIASM! There was plenty of it, and it shone through, especially during the second half, sea-shanties – and the curtain call (!)
All mums and dads, aunties and uncles should be very proud of the achievements made here. There was a lot of talent on this stage – watch out for them elsewhere in the future. Knowing this, the audience was clapping along enthusiastically too. Bravo.
GET INVOLVED WITH FUTURE SHOWS (and that’s an order!)
Just 28 tickets left at the last count for the second and final performance tonight (Tuesday) at 7.30pm.