Something that Jack and his family have told me about on numerous occasions is Play In The Park, part of the Dukes Walkabout Theatre in Lancaster. Last summer I went to see their production of The Hobbit with Jack and his sister, and on Friday we headed back to Williamson Park to see this year’s summer production: Treasure Island.
Since 1987, this theatre company have been putting on productions for the folks of Lancaster, with this particular production being suitable for families of all ages. Following the cast around to different areas of the park, the sets come to life around you. This year’s production of Treasure Island sees the trees become a mysterious island, Ashton Memorial turn into a pirate ship and the lake act as one of the seven seas. You may have been to outdoor theatre, but never an outdoor production like this one.
Jem Hawkins wanted nothing more than to escape her troubles, travel the world and make a new life for herself. Like most of us then? Unfortunately, her crew mates weren’t too helpful with he quest. Her new friends included an opinionated parrot, a bunch of pirate buffoons and everyone’s least favourite pirate, Long John Silver, watch over her every move.
These productions to me seem a little more than AmDram, but not as polished as a West End production. The adult cast comes together with The Dukes Youth Theatre to play each role and rely on these shows to keep the company going.
So after spending about 3 hours in the park watching a slight twist Robert Louis Stevenson‘s epic tale, I wasn’t too cold, I wasn’t too damp – rain was forecast – and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. For the past three days I’ve had P-I-R-A-T-E, Pirate, Pirate, Pirate stuck in my head and whilst it’s irritating, you can’t doubt that the songs in the show are catchy.
Due to popular demand, the show has been extended until the 19th August so if you’re local I’d definitely recommend popping over to Lancaster and take a trip onboard the Hispaniola this summer to watch Treasure Island come to life.