Edinburgh Fringe 2016
Les Petits Theatre Company (Adventures in Wonderland) return to the high seas with a sequel to Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs. The Magic Cutlass is based on the award-winning book by Giles Andreae and Russell Ayto.
The starting point is the school play dress rehearsal. The children have written the play (with pirates and pirate dinosaurs) and their teacher is all ready for the off. But as Flinn, Pearl and Tom set off on their stage adventures their old nemesis, Mr T the T-Rex, appears and kidnaps the children forcing them to hunt for the secretive Magic Cutlass. The children are whisked away to a world of devious dinosaurs, deep sea dangers and smelly sausages.
It’s colourful, loud, boisterous and action packed. The cast of four are talented musical actors with some fine singing, lots of quick changes and plenty of pirate action. There are tiny shadow puppets and some really really very big dinosaurs. And a sausage making machine…
Although advertised as 2+ it is really more suitable for older children. The younger ones seemed to enjoy the sheer spectacle; one toddler just in front of me danced to all the music! However, 6-7 yr olds will follow the story better, especially as it is framed around a school play which they will have had some experience of. There are also a number of asides aimed at the adults which could be seen either as drawing the adults in or excluding the children, depending on one’s point of view.
At an hour, it is perhaps a little long for such small people, there was some restlessness by the end; there are moments when it looks as though the resolution is about to happen and the world be restored to normal, and then it goes on a bit longer. There are also some lovely moments – a chase through the auditorium, bubbles descending, but they only involve the front few rows leaving out those of us sitting further back.
Having said that everyone left laughing and talking about it and my straw poll on exit (having only my inner child to take I wanted to hear from some real, modern, children) was that everyone thoroughly enjoyed.
Overall, this is a great lively family show that every age will enjoy in different ways.