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Pirate Gran

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Gran Pauline Goldsmith is entertaining her grandchildren with an elaborate game of pirates in this original, funny, rhythmic piece, which, among other things, celebrates the transformative, intergenerational power of play.

Goldsmith, whose everyday mac reverses to become a bright green, frogged pirate’s coat, creates a deliciously feisty, childlike but wise and kind Scottish Gran, who can still dance with a twinkle when she loses herself in pirate life. Peta Maurice is lithe and entertaining as Faint Hearted Jack, Jack Maurice is a charismatic Cut-Throat Malone, especially when falsetto-voicing Gran’s pet crocodile bit of a show-stealer and Martyn Dempsey finds real depth in Fingers O’Malley, who isn’t always very brave.

Benji Bower’s tuneful songs work nicely, and James Lewis deserves congratulations for his ingenious set, which begins as Gran’s sitting room but neatly transforms into, for example, a pirate ship or tropical island. It is regrettable, though, that even in jest, this show for very young children includes the casual hurling of crustaceans into a cooking pot after half- heartedly attacking them with a rolling pin and the mock-shooting of parrots, as if such activities were acceptable behaviour.

Susan Elkin

  • Greenwich Theatre, London
  • April 13, then touring until May 31
  • Director: Pieter Lawman
  • Author: Devised by the company
  • Producer: Scamp Theatre
  • Cast: Peta Maurice, Jack Maurice, Pauline Goldsmith, Martyn Dempsey
  • Running time: 50mins
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The Stage
The Stage is a British weekly newspaper and website covering the entertainment industry, and particularly theatre. It was founded in 1880. It contains news, reviews, opinion, features, and recruitment advertising.
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