Treasure Island – A Swashbuckling Affair!

4 March 2022

Treasure Island sq

Around 80 students took part in the Senior School Production of Treasure Island by Bryony Lavery in the Performing Arts Centre.

This fabulously fresh take on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale, first staged at the National Theatre, mixed comedy with drama to create an unmissable evening of entertainment. It was wonderful to welcome audiences back to the Performing Arts Centre for our first Senior School production since 2020- and what a way to open!

 The stunning design promised to amaze audiences from the outset. The Performing Arts Centre was transformed into multiple locations utilising an array of levels, decking and rope. With beautiful lighting design, colourful costumes and more swashbuckling pirates than you shake a cutlass at, audiences were transported from the Admiral Benbow Inn, to the good ship Hispaniola and, ultimately, to the treacherous Skeleton Island.

The use of space throughout the production was ingenious, particularly at the climax of the production when the set revealed an exciting twist as the thrust of the stage lowered into the orchestra pit, carrying our cast of Pirates quite literally down into the depths of both the island and the Performing Arts Centre as they tried to find the treasure!

This was very much an ensemble production with the majority of the 70 cast members on stage for much of the show. The cast gave assured and confident performances that included live action stage combat, hilarious one-liners and haunting live music sung by a ghostly chorus of drowned sailors.

The cast was split over two nights, enabling the whole company to have the opportunity of taking on one of the many varied and challenging roles. The quality of performance from the students was a real highlight and it was lovely to see so many students across the senior year groups involved.

The production was ably led by Chloe and Ilora as Jem Hawkins, who gave mature and impressive performances as Jem, remaining on stage for almost the entire show. Aria, Dimple and Thalia played the role of the villainous one-legged pirate Silver with relish, convincingly portraying the shift from Jem’s trusted fried to traitorous mutineer. There were standout moments of comedy, notably from the adventurous and mischievous the local knitting club who come along for the adventure, played with a light comic touch by Rali, Sophia C, Sophia M, Jaya and Lina.

One undoubted star of the production was Captain Flint the parrot puppet, superbly operated and voiced by Aria, Dimple and Thalia on alternate evenings. The brilliantine colours and intricate mechanical movement of the puppet was cleverly crafted by Thomas Boase, our technical theatre manager. Weeks of work went into the design and creation of this magnificent puppet which appeared incredibly lifelike as it flapped and moved around the stage.

The production of Treasure Island was further brought to life with an original score by Year 10 student Hiral, pyrotechnics, a confetti canon and more props than the Performing Arts Centre has seen in a show for many years – even a full cheese board! All of this was deftly managed by the wonderful backstage team – Imani, Olivia, Jahanara, Lydia, Tara, Marine and Morayo.

Congratulations to all involved, both on and offstage, for bringing this vibrant and memorable production to life.

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