This year’s Middle School Production of Treasure Island saw over fifty pupils involved in not only performing, but also running the technical and backstage elements of the production.
Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic story of adventure, murder, money and mutiny was brought to life vibrantly in this adaptation by Bryony Lavery, first performed at The National Theatre.
A strong ensemble of ferocious and, at times, mischievous pirates aided the storytelling as we followed Jim from Black Cove, on board ship and of course, to Treasure Island. They delighted audiences with brawls and dancing, as well as creating a magical moment of stars in the night sky as Long John Silver, expertly played by Ana Ramallal Powell, taught Jim how to navigate at sea using the stars.
Jim was joined on her adventures by Squire Trelawney and Doctor Livesey, a wonderful double act performed by the hilarious Archie Elliot, who brought style and passion to the role, and Isabelle Durrant who commanded the stage as the strict and sensible one of the pair.
There were some wonderful performances by members of the Walrus and Hispaniola crew, who all developed very individual characters with lashings of menace or bravery. These were wonderful characters but particular praise must go to Isabella Tarttelin as the hard done by Badger and Duncan Jeynes as the eternal optimist, Lucky Micky.
Once on the island, Jim encountered poor Ben Gunn who had been alone on the island for years. Rafe Crane-Robinson created this character brilliantly, humorously portraying the mad-making impact of his solitary time on the island through multiple conversations with himself.
Audiences also loved the pesky parrot, Captain Flint, played by Rocco Callander, who popped up in many locations in the David Russell Theatre, as well as constantly searching for peanuts when he should have been helping with important work!
Huge congratulations must go to Sienna Caven, as Jim(ima) Hawkins, who engaged the audience with her story-telling and helped us to feel gripped by her adventure, with all its trials and tribulations. This role was a great challenge for such a young actor, which Sienna performed with real flair and sensitivity.
The cast and crew should be very proud of these performances which did justice to all the effort and hard work which went into rehearsals.