If you enjoyed the behind the scenes sneak peek of Treasure Island in my last post, you might be wondering what we thought of the actual production.
Treasure Island is not an easy work to adapt for the children’s stage, but Singapore Repertory Theatre’s The Little Company has done just that. The choice to cast Jim Hawkins as a girl’s role was an inspired one, making what could have been seen as a “boys” show accessible to all.
Kimberly Chan opens the musical in the character of Ben Gunn, whom we later learn was left on Treasure Island alone with only coconuts for friends. She recounts the story of greedy Captain Flint, who killed his crewmates and buried a treasure, only to die at sea. Don’t worry, mamas, the book’s violence has been toned way down and she only uses puppets and a somewhat random Jamaican accent.
We then see Jim Hawkins (Ann Lek) come into possession of a map to Captain Flint’s gold. She convinces the dignified Captain Smollett (Erwin Shah Ismail) and foppish Squire Trelawney (Tan Shou Chen) to pull together a crew so they can go and retrieve it. While Jim never trusts the sailors hired for the voyage—the sketchy Hands (Chan) and dim-witted O’Brien (Mitchell Lagos)—she becomes close friends with the new cook, Long John Silver (Dwayne Lau). She is shocked when, one night on deck, she hears Long John Silver, Hands, and O’Brien plotting to take the map and steal the treasure for themselves! The rest of the show is a race to see who will get to the treasure first, and at what cost. Was Silver’s friendship all a lie, or is there a bit of goodness left in him? You’ll have to the see the show to find out.
**I received complimentary tickets and was part of a behind the scenes sneak peek of this show. My review, however, reflects my honest feelings about the show.