Pirates of the Curry Bean – Alnwick Playhouse Junior Youth Theatre, Saturday, March 24
IT is hard to believe that none of the young thespians on stage were older than nine.
Such was their ability to deliver a narrative-heavy script, a never-ending stream of gags and several song-and-dance routines that they had me convinced I was watching at least teenagers.
They were epitomised by Eleanor Morris, who kicked off proceedings as Deadeye Dinghy the narrator, with amazing clarity and a confidence that belied her tender years, and Isabelle Forsythe, equally assured as Captain Cod.
Both Eleanor and Isabelle acted with poise and authority, appearing to enjoy their every moment on stage. These two are going to be stars, mark my words.
They were backed up by an extraordinary collection of talent.
While it seems unfair to pick out individuals, equally, it would be remiss of me not to mention Jack Tuczemskyi’s hilarious, wacky Admiral Hornblower; Guy Leonard as the brash baddy Captain Redbeard, who bristled with anger, and lovable Lily Irving as his sidekick Loopy Louie; and Antonia Johnson alongside Kate Renner as the comedy duo Scuttle and Slack.
Amelia Goodfellow provided some big laughs as Cutthroat Clegg, the ship’s surgeon, likewise Hannah Middleton and Philippa Musgrove-Asher as health and safety pairing Wally and Pratt.
Amy Collis as mum Pearl Periwinkle and Ross Morgan and Flora Allison as the young Periwinkles Jack and Lisa were the rocks on which the whole production was built.
The story was of skulduggery on the high seas, with the pirates of the Curry Bean and the sailors of the good ship HMS Crunchy Frog battling over a map showing buried treasure on the island of Lumbago in the Sciatica Sea. Both crews found themselves marooned on the island after a storm and they were accompanied by some displeased natives and scary wildlife.
With plenty of puns, particularly on the effects of curry beans on the human digestive system, some lovely singing and dancing and great costumes, this pantomime play was a hit.
There was the odd missed cue and prop malfunction but they were forgiven as the cast received rapturous applause at the end.
Huge credit must go to director Judy Tribe, who was supportive of her charges throughout, and musical director Peter Brown, providing the keyboard accompaniment.
Cast: Guy Leonard, Lily Irving, Sophie Bell, Alex Vint, Elliot Filer, Keeley Fielding, Megan Bell, Emily Bennett, Florence Mills, Katy Inkster, Charlotte Walton, Beth Harrison-Frater, Matilda Smalley, Adam Leonard, Holly Love, Jessica Swan, Andy Hunt, Amy Collis, Ross Morgan, Flora Allison, Stewart Oxley, Gracie Matthews, Eleanor Morris, Isabelle Forsyth, Jack Tuczemskyi, Antonia Johnson, Kate Renner, Hannah Middleton, Philippa Musgrove-Asher, Rosie Shotton, Amelia Goodfellow, Rossiter Houldsworth, Harrison Frater, Stewart Oxley, Evie Sharp, Emma Jackson, Ellie Howard, Harry Roberts.