Treasure Island, Norwich

JOHN LAWSON One of the joys of watching shows at the Maddermarket is seeing just how a company makes the most of the cramped conditions.

JOHN LAWSON

One of the joys of watching shows at the Maddermarket is seeing just how a company makes the most of the cramped conditions.

Shows here, particularly one like this calling for a host of different “locations”, require great ingenuity from the set designer. And Paul Stimpson does not disappoint; his twisting, turning,

multi-sided, multi-purpose flats and containers providing a positive Pandora's box of delights.

Hidden flaps turn into tables, benches – piles of sand even – as we move from the Quayside to the Tavern to the ship and Treasure Island itself with its stockade.

And does the show live up to the efforts lavished on its locations? Why certainly!

Most Read

Director Claire Goddard keeps Stevenson's classic tale of pirates, skullduggery and hidden treasure bowling along, and achieves just the right balance between panto and straight drama to give the show real appeal on many levels for adults and children alike.

John Dixon, as Long John Silver, Dylan Fryer (Black Dog) and George Norton (Blind Pew) made a fine trio of villains, ably assisted by Etta Geras and John McGinn as Hands and Anderson in a menacing band of pirates.

Meanwhile, Christian de l'Argy fulfills the “dame” role as the hugely foppish Squire Trelawny, with Chris Evans as Captain Smollet and Barry Parsons as O'Brien also playing it for laughs.

Young Freddie Hutchins is Stevenson himself, who writers Willis Hall and Dennis King transform into his hero Jim Hawkins.

But, saving the best till last, is the appearance of Trevor Burton as Ben Gunn, Pythonesque in his madness as he leaps around the stage in pursuit of his heart's desire – expressed in John Dane and John Barnett's cheese song.

He has the youngsters in the audience squealing in fits of giggles and is almost worth the price of the ticket on his own.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter