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  • Writer's pictureNeill Kovacic-Clarke


🎭 Treasure Island

📍 The Lyric, Theatre Royal Plymouth, Royal Parade, Plymouth, Devon, PL1 2TR

🗓 Wednesday 12th April 2023



Award winning physical comedy troupe Le Navet Bete made a triumphant return to Theatre Royal Plymouth last night with their latest production of Treasure Island.

This production is a real mix of panto, slapstick and farce and is a delight. I did feel that it got off to a slow start, and there were more titters than laughs in the first couple of scenes, but once our hero Jim had won his ship (which was called the Jolly Todger!) from Captain Birdseye during a game of Play Your Cards Right, the show seemed to move up a level and just got better and better from then.

This show is easily described as joyful escapism, with lots of audience interaction. There's lots of fun and silliness for children as well as a bit of adult themed innuendo for the parents! It's a great show for the Easter holidays!

The script is really clever and I loved Long John Silver's parrot Alexa, who was from the Amazon and has a blue collar which lit up when a character asked a question!

There were great cultural references for all ages and dad jokes as well as a play on words with things such as the poop deck!

Production Image: The team set sail from Plymouth to the Caribbean

The cast was just a team of 4 incredible talents. Nick portrayed the central character of Jim Hawkins and the other 34 characters were played by the 3 remaining cast members!

Al gave off a great energy throughout and his take on Long John Silver was wonderfully hilarious. Simon was also great as a multitude of characters and held a big surprise when it turned out that "Santa of the sea" Captain Birdseye was actually the evil pirate known as The Raven.

The audience favourite though had to be Matt. Mainly because of the sheer amount of characters that he played and the fact that they all had such eccentricities! He seemed to play all the female characters that featured, including Aunt Agnes. He was fabulously camp as Blue Peter and completely loopy as Ben Gunn! My favourite of all though had to be him as a mermaid!

What was fantastic about this team is that they changed not only their voices but their entire physicality with each character.

This production was a farcical delight that is definitely Treasure Island .... but not as you know it!

I loved the wardrobe malfunctions, references to the movie Titanic and the collapsing set! Act 2 opened with a clever underwater puppetry scene that was well done and brilliantly funny.

Production Image: Underwater puppetry

The set was also really creative and multi-functional transforming into many things including a bar and a ship.

Treasure Island from Le Navet Bete is just a night of riotous fun that is not to be missed and is playing at Theatre Royal Plymouth until Saturday 15th April. Head to to book tickets.

There did seem to be some technical issues at the start, with the sound fading in and out so this may have been a factor to the beginning not seeming as strong as the rest of the performance. It also seemed that whenever there was singing, they were drowned out by the music. But aside from these minor technical issues, it was just a fun-filled night of entertainment.

I challenge anyone to spend an evening watching the crazy guys of Le Navet Bete and not enjoy themselves. This is proper feel-good family fun. I can't wait to see future productions from this awesome team.

Neill Kovacic-Clarke

All views are my own and I pride myself on being open, honest and free from influence.

My tickets for this performance were gifted by Theatre Royal Plymouth who invited me to review the production. The fact that my tickets were gifted played no part in my star rating for this review.

Production Image: The boys were 'In The Navy' for the fun finale!

RUN TIME (approx):

2 hours 20 minutes, including interval


Loud gunshot sounds; Implied strong language; Partial nudity

The mission of Theatre Royal Plymouth is to develop and deepen people's engagement with pioneering creativity in Plymouth and the South West, delivering experiences that spark delight, expression and fulfilment. The venue is the principle home of the performing arts in the South West and is the country's largest and most attended regional producing theatre.


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