REVIEW: Hall for Cornwall's Christmas pantomime Treasure Island is 'ansome!

The cast of Treasure Island 2022 at Hall for Cornwall <i>(Image: Treasure Island)</i>
The cast of Treasure Island 2022 at Hall for Cornwall (Image: Treasure Island)

For the first time in their lives, my two young sons watched a pantomime at the weekend - oh yes, they did!

And with the Hall For Cornwall's home-grown productions building on an already impressive reputation year after year, it was a fine place to start.

We arrived loaded up on snacks, drinks, and pirate paraphernalia for our youngest son.

Falmouth Packet: Long John Silver (L) and Captain Flint (R) portrayed by Edward Rowe and Zahra Ahmadi
Falmouth Packet: Long John Silver (L) and Captain Flint (R) portrayed by Edward Rowe and Zahra Ahmadi

Long John Silver (L) and Captain Flint (R) portrayed by Edward Rowe and Zahra Ahmadi (Image: Treasure Island)

Looking around an already busy auditorium as we took our places for the start of Treasure Island, I don’t think there was an empty seat in the house.

There seemed to be an excited buzz from around the room, and chants of 'Oggy Oggy Oggy' echoed before the start of the show.

As the curtains went up we were introduced to members of the cast: Jim, his mum Gladys, and their pet Chough ‘Chuffy’, Dr Livesey, John Trelawney, Lady Killigrew, Pirate Maria Lindey, and Pirate Mark Mixtow.

Joni Ayton-Kent played the parts of four characters: Billie Bones, Benji Gunn, Brian the Monkey, and Ross Poldark.

Falmouth Packet: Billie Bones (C), Jim (L), and Chuffy (R) played by Ned Cooper, Joni Ayton-Kent and Ricky Oakley.
Falmouth Packet: Billie Bones (C), Jim (L), and Chuffy (R) played by Ned Cooper, Joni Ayton-Kent and Ricky Oakley.

Billie Bones (C), Jim (L), and Chuffy (R) played by Ned Cooper, Joni Ayton-Kent and Ricky Oakley. (Image: Treasure Island)

We were then introduced to the star of the show, Long John Silver portrayed by Edward Rowe aka Kernow King, and his trusty sidekick Captain Flint.

Throughout the energetic and colourful performance, the cast interacted with the audience, which was well reciprocated – especially by my eldest who I am surprised still has his voice left after all the shouting and booing towards the villainous Long John Silver.

During their performance, Long John Silver and Captain Flint were discussing how to be nice to people, so they trick people into letting them be on their ship.

They chose Orla, Grace, and Demelza out of the audience to come up onto the stage to be a part of their show. Long John asked the girls what they wanted to be when they were older, and what is a nice thing to say to someone, to which one of the little girls replied: "You have a nice top".

The three girls seemed to enjoy their time on stage and each received a goodie bag.

Falmouth Packet: The cast of Treasure Island before the end of the show
Falmouth Packet: The cast of Treasure Island before the end of the show

The cast of Treasure Island before the end of the show (Image: Treasure Island)

Sweets were thrown into the audience by Gladys and Dr. Livesey, and audience members who were celebrating a special occasion received shout-outs from the cast, including one woman celebrating her 93rd birthday.

As the show continued there were more incredible musical numbers including a mashup of Nirvana’s ‘Teen Spirit’ and ‘Bootylicious’ by Destiny’s Child, Sam Ryder’s ‘Space Man’ and Billy Ocean’s classic ‘When the Going Gets Tough.’

As a born and bred Cornish girl, I have to say, hearing the Cornish slang being used frequently throughout the show was a highlight.

Sitting in an auditorium and hearing “Wasson Kernow” being echoed loudly across the room made me proud to be Cornish.

Ed Rowe’s portrayal of Long John Silver was outstanding; he was perfect for the part, and after the show, my eight-year-old son asked me if he was "a real Cornish pirate.”

Although every character’s performance was terrific, Joni Ayton-Kent's performance of four characters stood out for me.

She stole the show, and every time she came on stage she made us all smile and laugh, especially towards the end of the show. I won't give too much away but just keep an eye out for some monkey business!

Falmouth Packet: What's going on here then?
Falmouth Packet: What's going on here then?

What's going on here then? (Image: Treasure Island)

There was nothing I could fault about Treasure Island. It was a wonderful first pantomime for the kids and seeing them join in and laugh throughout the show was priceless.

The whole production was a masterpiece, and it was ‘ansome!

To find out more about Treasure Island or to book tickets, visit: https://hallforcornwall.co.uk/playhouse-tickets-shows/treasure-island/about-the-show