Cochrane Vision Theatre’s rendition of Treasure Island received raved reviews drawing healthy crowds for the six-show run.
Vision Theatre’s version of the play – presented as a pantomime – added a comical twist to the classic, which turned out to be a huge success said director Anita McDonald.
“I think overall it went fantastic. We had a fantastic audience, people were very involved in the play, we got great reviews and the cast stayed energetic throughout the entirety of the productions, which is sometimes very hard to do. Over the duration of the six shows, we had just over 700 people come through and there was great support from the community,” McDonald said.
“We had some changes to the play, including the fact that it was a pantomime … which usually means that you’re a mime and you don’t act things out. We were very specific that this was a British panto, and what that is, is you take a well-known story, usually a fairy tale, and give it a twist.”
Treasure Island is based off the masterful adventure novel written by Robert Louis Stevenson. It begins at an inn on the Devon Coast of England in 1775 and quickly becomes an unforgettable tale of treachery and mayhem featuring a host of legendary swashbucklers. At the centre of it all is Jim Hawkins, a 14-year-old boy who longs for adventure and the infamous Long John Silver, who is both good and evil, and is perhaps the most famous hero-villain of all time.
Sticking to the British panto style, Vision Theatre’s version of the play loosely followed the original story adding funny characters and jokes to the storyline.
“We still had Jim Hawkins and Long John Silver, but also had Jim’s mother, which is played by a male, a human sized parrot and women in beards. It’s just a musical, slapstick, funny version of the fairy tale.”
McDonald also added that the cast responded well to the fact that they had six shows to perform, something that can be very draining once you reach the end of the journey.
“Between my cast and crew we had 45 people. I think everyone really fed off each other, and since we’re all volunteers, everyone was there because they loved it … no one was there because they had to be,” McDonald said.
“On the final Sunday it was kind of bitter sweet because you’re tired and excited to get in your bed in sleep, but also sad because all the months of work we put in, is coming to an end.”
“Everyone did a really good job of staying energized and giving it their all for the final shows.”