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Edinburgh Fringe 2015

Captain Morgan 1: The Sands of Time

Tap Tap Theatre

Genre: Comedy, Family, Fringe Theatre

Venue: Pleasance Dome


Low Down

Captain Morgan and First Mate Hammond quest for the secrets of time travel in a rip-roaring comedy adventure. All the monsters, sword fights and shivered timbers you’d expect from a Hollywood blockbuster, delivered by two actors and one musician. Using nothing but their bodies to conjure objects and set, Morgan and Hammond must slay monsters, battle sea gods and outwit the dastardly privateer Renshaw to claim the ultimate prize – the Sands of Time.


The performers, just two actors and a musician, manage to create a whole world and a host of characters (apparently around 44 which in itself is a mind boggle) in the space of an hour. We are taken aboard ship, onto land, into a prison cell, and also onto a mysterious island where the classic confrontation with  evil takes place. The story becomes a little too convoluted later on and the whole performance would benefit from being about 10 minutes shorter. But what makes this such a special performance, is the chemistry between the two physical performers . They are able to deliver comedy, physical clowning, create props and scenes out of seemingly nowhere. The 11-year-old boy we took was amazed by this show. They held their characters so well, their versatility as performers stays as a positive memory with us to this day. They were breathtaking to watch and it was a joy to see the kind of skill and versatility that is a combination of talent and sheer bloody hard work. They gave their all on this last performance of the fringe…while the mood that afternoon was sombre and weary in the Pleasance dome as jaded Fringe staff were packing up the Fringe..this felt utterly forgotten in the midst of this captivating show.

This is an adventure on the high seas, laced with plenty of storytelling, physical knockabout comedy, witty dialogue and banter, and, most of all, excellent comedy character acting. The balance between jokes, sight gags and storytelling is always kept at the right level. There were a few references to television which I felt, were unnecessary. The story is at its very best when we are taken somewhere in our imaginations and we don’t need too many modern references to be immersed in such a great pirate romp.

Some of the physical set pieces were jaw dropping. The monsters delivered to us with nothing more than human hands and voices yet  impressive and brilliant to watch – our 11 year old loved it. This is a duo that are able to stage a full-blown naval shootout with just their bare hands and some physical movement – oh, and two chairs.