Thursday, December 3, 2015

SRT's Musical "Treasure Island" Is A Delight, Especially for Families

The Singapore Repertory Theatre's (SRT) year-end play "Treasure Island" is not the scary sort with pillaging pirates running amok committing bloody murders on board a schooner. Rather, this adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson famous book by SRT's The Little Company is a delightful, G-rated musical that will appeal to children young and old, as well as most adults, and makes for 1.5 hours of fun family time.

The musical follows quite closely to the novel except for one main twist to the storyline - Jim Hawkins (Ann Lek) has been genderbent to an adventure-loving 13-year-old girl who works at the Bentbow Inn. With Jim stumbling upon a map owned by the late Captain Flint (and the scariest pirate that has ever lived), she sets sail on an adventure to a Caribbean island together with a crew led by Captain Smollett (Erwin Shah Ismail) and Squire Trelawney (Tan Shou Chen).

Unfortunately, on board as well is Long John Silver (Dwayne Lau) who pretends to be friends with Ann Lek while plotting a mutiny together with his comrades Hands (Kimberley Chan) and O'Brien (Michell Lagos), so that they can get their greedy hands on the treasure map.

The play is obviously targeted for younger audiences, but SRT did not scrimp on the production with the colourful costumes and elaborate sets. All the actors have good stage presence and Red Dot Diva thought they managed to put across the simple yet touching messages of friendship and trust effectively through the super-catchy songs and well choreographed routines. There are also some swashbuckling "sword fights" to boot!

The cast was utterly entertaining as well. Taking centrestage was Ann Lek who was perky and lovable as Jim Hawkins. She has a lovely singing voice, taking some of the high notes of one or two songs with ease.

Kimberley Chan seemed to be working hard on stage with multiple roles as Jim's mother and the gung-ho pirate Hands. She also hammed them all up with ease, especially as Ben Gunn - a survivor from Flint's crew - complete with a believable Caribbean accent, ample grass skirt and a coconut bra top. Most hilarious was "The Coconuts and Me" segment that had Kimberley and Jim talking to and about muppet coconuts. Totally wacky!

Another memorable song-and-dance routine was a latin-inspired "On The Hispanola". That song is still stuck in Red Dot Diva's head!

However, when it came to best comic timing, Red Dot Diva has to award that to Michell Lagos. His bumbling, mumbling O'Brien was the funniest thing she has seen on stage in quite awhile.

"Treasure Island" is on its last week at the DBS Arts Centre, and ends on 13 December.
Tickets are still available at SISTIC.

Since it is the school holiday season, this is a wonderful play to get the family together for an afternoon of fun. Red Dot Diva thinks it is a delightful treat for children (both boys and girls!) who love songs and stories about adventure and pirates.

Don't miss it!


Red Dot Diva would like to thank SRT for the invite to watch the play. Even her elderly mother enjoyed the light-hearted performance! Proof that the musical appeals to all ages! :D

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