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“While the production is not quite a pantomime, there are quite a few moments where it comes close, with the obviously fake parrot, cast members asking for help from the audience, and a few jokes aimed squarely at the adults, above the heads of the younger set.”
“Nick Bottomley’s projections are magical. Images are projected on the curtain in a kind of projection I’ve never seen before. Images seem to appear as if from water and just as quickly, disappear…
The character of Ben Gunn is played by Katelyn McCulloch, who is a master aerialist, who does all her tricks suspended above the stage using swaths of silk. One is tempted to just watch her do tricks and not listen to what she is saying. Don’t give in to temptation.”
“chock-full of all the swash-buckling wonderment that one could hope for. It is a fantastic choice for those introducing kids to the theatre, as well as for those who have not quite abandoned the kid in them. This production possesses just the right amount of audience participation to keep everyone engaged and it is guaranteed to have audiences keeping their eyes open for treasure as they leave the theatre…
a “Relaxed Performance” of “Treasure Island” is being offered on Friday July 7th at 2pm for those who will benefit from a less restricted audience environment. More information about this can be found in the ‘Accessibility’ section on the Stratford Festival website.”
” Billon’s adaptation, true to the sensibility of the original, reveals a solid narrative momentum and a gift for peppering proceedings with the kind of big set-piece moments that children will adore. …
This is not a sanitized version of the novel. Horror, violence and personal loss will stalk the decks when Jim and his friends set sail in search of treasure. Bruce Hunter’s Billy Bones is a doom-haunted old boozer who dies early on. As that sinister villain, Blind Pew, Deirdre Gillard-Rowlings overcomes her unorthodox casting to be genuinely scary…
The pleasures afforded by the festival’s latest take on Treasure Island are real and legitimate.”
“Director Mitchell Cushman, along with his talented cast and crew (notably Douglas Paraschuk’s fantastical set, Charlotte Dean’s spectacular costumes and Kevin Fraser’s lighting plot that made the action so easy to follow for young and not-so-young alike), created what well might be described as the Cirque du Soleil version of the timeless tale of the quest for riches [Treasure Island]”
“Zeroing in on his target audience of impressionable young people with parents happily in tow,
Cushman scores a direct and resounding hit rewarded many times over by numerous solicited and unsolicited crowd-hollered suggestions for the men and women seeking fortune. They loudly and repeatedly echo through and bounce off the walls and onto centre stage of the Avon Theatre.”
“The adventure begins in the lobby. Any pint-sized theatregoer who attends Treasure Island at the Stratford Festival is armed with a treasure map before taking their seats, their tickets taken by ushers in red and blue bandanas tied around their heads…
However, in cramming the novel into play length while making room for technical elements and audience interaction the plot gets lost at sea.”