Review: Robinson Crusoe and the Pirates, Brighouse Theatre Productions

Back 'Davy Jones' Robert Davison, Paul Tankard, Holly Robson.'Front Vivenne Payne, Deborah Grainger, Sophie Tankard, John Murphy and Emma Newsome
Back 'Davy Jones' Robert Davison, Paul Tankard, Holly Robson.'Front Vivenne Payne, Deborah Grainger, Sophie Tankard, John Murphy and Emma Newsome

By Derek Greenwood

We British seem to have an insatiable appetite for half-remembered tunes, performed against a colourful background of long-forgotten punchlines and political incorrectness – and that’s what pantomime is all about!

With fancies tickled and credibility stretched, we were introduced to the goodies, who were rather nice actually, and the baddies, who desperately tried to be worse than awful, but were mostly just very silly.

Audience involvement warmed slowly as, young and old, they struggled in their different ways to respond to a vintage dialogue with punchlines rolling on to the stage like 40-ton trucks.

With cockles warmed, boos polished and forthcoming, youngsters in the audience were relishing their roles as plot manipulators as we stomped our way into all things maritime and some things rough and sandy. With well-organised choreography from the dancers, young and very young, of the P M Gibson School of Theatre Dance, we came to terms with the concept of the principal boy, as Robinson Crusoe, strongly played by Holly Robson, gender bending her way through all the complications of women dressed as men and men dressed as women.

Fun must be had – and was, in considerable measure – as the humour rattled from one side of the stage to the other. With some hits and some misses, we were reminded why humour is the toughest format for most actors.

Were we in Brighouse or Brazil? Nobody cared, with smiles and laughter rippling through the auditorium.

Catch it today (2.15pm and 7.15pm and Sunday, 1.15pm).