Wednesday, 4 June 2008

Yo ho ho

And a bottle of Duchy's Original Lemon Refresher

We took my son and three friends to see an adaptation of Treasure Island at the Cambridge Arts Theatre last night. It was adapted and performed by the Birmingham Stage Company and it was great. I read Treasure Island recently to my son and so the story was very fresh in our minds.

I haven't been to the theatre for ages and I was struck by how magical the experience is. It is a wonderful antidote to the pretended realism of TV and cinema. Theatre does not attempt realism. It is a much more complex art form than simply trying to show a version of reality. We can see the actors walking on and off stage and pretending to fall in the sea when there is no sea there and we know that the set that was a ship a minute ago is now doubling as the stockade, but we still get caught up in the story all the same, whilst simultaneously enjoying the wit and invention of how it is being delivered. It all seems very modern, when of course it is nothing of the sort.

And the kids loved it. They enjoyed the story and the action, but they also enjoyed the way it was presented. Their favourite bit was when Blind Pew is run over by a horse. There was no horse of course, and his death was shown by the sky behind him turning blood red to the sound of horse's hooves, a collision, a scream. It was little more than a silhouette and sound effects, but it clearly worked.

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