Treasure Island, Acting Up, Chesil Theatre, Winchester

While the essence of Robert Louis Stevenson's story of buccaneers and buried treasure remained intact, Acting Up presented a fresh interpretation in their new production, interspersing the fights and skulduggery with sea shanties and songs and changing the gender of a number of the key roles.

The cast brought with them a great deal of enthusiasm and high spirits. The costumes and makeup were good fun and there was some interesting use of lighting.

On the first night everything was still bedding in. The first half did not flow smoothly as it might and scene changes were somewhat clunky, although the action picked up after the interval as confidence and pacing improved.

Jess Ridge brought gravitas and good sense to the role of Captain Smollett, whilst Lucy Newton had good stage presence and a gave a lively turn as Long Joan Silver. Charlie Sewell was amusing as Squire Trelawny.

Karen Robson