Exactly one year ago I had my introduction to the Above the Stag theatre in Vauxhall with their Christmas panto Jack-off The Beanstalk. This year, walking into the theatre I thought I knew what to expect but I was wrong. Treasure Island is one of the filthiest and most offensive shows I have ever seen and I loved every second of it!
Ethel Merman (our half woman half fish narrator, played by a man) guides the audience through the magical tale of Jim, the son of an alcoholic living on the Cornish Coast. Jim longs for adventure and when he finds a sailors treasure map the whole gang set sail to find the hidden treasure and rescue the pub from being closed down.
It’s a huge relief when you go to see a show and no one sticks out like a sore thumb as being particularly bad. The cast in this show are all brilliant performers and work incredibly we’ll together on stage. Accents and vocal performances are slightly more questionable but this panto doesn’t have too much music in it and so the acting makes up for the vocal restrictions. Hugh O’Donnel has the best singing voice out of the cast but I must admit I thought Ethel was from East London for the first 10 minutes until she mentioned being Australian! Ellen Butler shows real acting diversity by playing posh actress Josephine in act 1 and cave woman Miranda in act 2. Both characters are played with rip roaringly funny expressions and dry humour. Briony Rawle gets the crowd going as ship-mate Marina and Luke Webber’s portrayal of Daryl made me wish I was 50 years younger so I could whisk him home with me. The indisputable star of Treasure Island however is Philip Lawrence as the promiscuous alcoholic mother Sally. His facial expressions and poise we exactly how a character like that should be played.
Above the Stag have produced a brilliantly fun show that is the perfect night out in Vauxhall (for open minded people who don’t mind hearing the odd mention of Madelaine MacCann and copious amount of vile language).
Reviewed by West End Wilma
Treasure Island – the Curse of the Pearl Necklace is playing at Above the Stag Theatre in Vauxhall until 10 January 2015.