Skilful storytelling and enough conviction can transform an empty room into a ship, a tropical island or a cave full of treasure. It’s a shame, then, that SJC never quite convince, despite the enthusiasm they bring to Stevenson’s classic. An admirably faithful adaptation, their script would nevertheless benefit from tighter editing, as the production lacks the energy or ingenuity to stay afloat, repeatedly missing opportunities to enliven the familiar story. While the small ensemble play their parts to the hilt, they never quite hit the mark between serious characterisation and shiver–me–timbers, pseudo–Pugwash mugging. Relying too heavily on the audience’s imagination and too little on the company’s skill, this show founders soon after it leaves the harbour.
C too, 2 – 27 Aug (not 14), 3.30pm.
tw rating 2/5 | [Dave Fargnoli]