Review: ‘Sudbury’s Treasure Island is a real winner for all’

Elin Massey, Jaclyn Taylor and Sara Knight play pirates in Treasure Island ANL-161124-111559001
Elin Massey, Jaclyn Taylor and Sara Knight play pirates in Treasure Island ANL-161124-111559001
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Well, shiver me timbers. Pirates have taken over Sudbury’s Quay Theatre and there be rough seas ahead with a treacherous voyage to Treasure Island to search for buried booty.

Along the way, there’s singing and dancing and plenty of fun and entertainment with polished performances that will have you wanting more.

When Sudbury Dramatic Society promised to bring something a little bit different for its annual panto this year, it certainly delivered.

The cast literally comes at you from all angles, using the stairway in the auditorium to enter and exit the stage to great effect, making you feel like you are part of the show.

In fact, audience participation is one of the great things about this new production.

When each side of the audience competed to sing the best – and loudest – rendition of What Shall We Do With The Drunken Sailor? it raised the roof. The story is set in Sudbury at the Waterman’s Inn near the River Stour run by Mrs Hawkins and her son Jim.

Mrs Hawkins, played by a very funny Richard Fawcett as the dame, hasn’t seen her husband for years. There are lots of in-jokes about Suffolk and Essex which is made all the funnier when delivered in a dry fashion by a Yorkshire-sounding Mrs Hawkins.

Writers Mike Fahie-Wilson and Bez Berry worked in some topical references to the EU and Brexit, and the songs and lyrics are funny and clever.

When Captain Billy Bones, played brilliantly by Annie Eddington, comes to stay at the Waterman’s Inn, he has a map of Treasure Island and a desire to find the hidden booty. As you might have guessed, a reunion with her husband is in store for Mrs Hawkins on Treasure Island. But along the way there are bad pirates for the audience to boo and hiss – One-Eyed Pete, Spotted Dick and Spam are villains full of energy and are especially funny while trying to impress with an animated chorus of We Are Nice.

From Squire Trelawny and his wife and daughter, to Mrs Hawkins’ son Jim, and the island wildlife – a lonely crocodile – all cast members have put their heart and soul into this production.

It’ll warm the cockles of your heart on a cold winter’s evening and, like me, my 11-year-old son declared it a winner.

Treasure Island runs until Sunday January 1. Tickets from the Quay Theatre box office on 01787 374745 or online at www.quaysudbury.com

ANNE WISE