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Treasure Island was pure gold

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REVIEW: Alnwick Playhouse Youth Theatre – Minis, performed Treasure Island, at Alnwick Playhouse, on Saturday, March 17.

Shiver me timbers! The Alnwick Playhouse Youth Theatre blew me away with their fantastic performance of Treasure Island.

None of the talented youngsters in the Mini group need to walk the plank after this show, because they were all stars.

This version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale had foot-tapping songs, plenty of comedy and a treasure-chest-full of action.

And the Youth Theatre cast brought this superb show to life with their energy, charm and enthusiasm.

Leading the way was Archie Braid, who delivered a stand-out performance as Long John Silver.

The cast of Treasure Island.

The cast of Treasure Island.

He raised many a laugh with his larger-than-life portrayal of the story’s one-legged antagonist – complete with pirate accent and exaggerated limp.

Lexie Slater, playing Jim Hawkins, was another cast member to shine, nailing her vocals and looking assured on stage.

Speaking of vocals, Freddie Townsend (Ben Gunn) sang a sweet solo. You could hear a pin drop as the audience were touched by his soothing rendition – and duly gave him a rapturous round of applause when he finished the piece.

Amy Purvis (Mrs Hawkins) was also bang on with her singing and a special shout out to Stella Mickleburgh, who produced a memorable performance as Billy Bones, with bundles of energy and enthusiasm.

The cast of Treasure Island.

The cast of Treasure Island.

These crew members were supported admirably by the likes of Molly Roberts (Black Dog); Charlotte Hoggarth (Blind Pew); Blue Juggins (Captain Smollett); Estie Belshaw (Squire Trelawney); Olivia Blackshaw (Dr Livesey); Lucas Slater (George Merry); Vincent Brewis (Sailor Sam); and Emilie Kirkley (Israel Hands).

It’s impossible to name each and every cast member in a review, but the truth is, all of the youngsters who graced the Playhouse stage on Saturday did a great job.

They handled the songs well, especially those with solos, and the well-thought-out dance routines were polished and executed tremendously well.

It never ceases to amaze me how the Youth Theatre performers deliver such a good show, and Treasure Island was yet another example of this. For performers so young, the cast remembered their lines and were so comfortable, confident and composed on stage.

The cast of Treasure Island.

The cast of Treasure Island.

They looked every bit at home and never seemed overwhelmed by the size of the auditorium and the number of people watching them. And they did it all with smiles on their faces!

It was also pleasing to see the Playhouse near-full to capacity – with the youngsters receiving the support they deserve. The staging was eye-catching, effective and suitably themed, with barrels, netting, crates and a ship figurehead, as well as mast and sails.

Peter Brown was, as ever, slick on the piano and the production was well directed by Geoff Lawson. It all combined to make it a fantastic show. In fact, you could say that Treasure Island was pure gold!

The Youth Theatre is a breeding ground for talent and on the evidence of this production, I am sure there are numerous youngsters who will go on to fill leading roles in senior productions in the future.

The cast of Treasure Island.

The cast of Treasure Island.

Freddie Townsend sang a sweet solo.

Freddie Townsend sang a sweet solo.

The cast of Treasure Island.

The cast of Treasure Island.

The cast of Treasure Island.

The cast of Treasure Island.

The cast of Treasure Island.

The cast of Treasure Island.

Stella Mickleburgh, Amy Purvis and Lexie Slater.

Stella Mickleburgh, Amy Purvis and Lexie Slater.