Les Petits Theatre’s vividly engaging Magic Cutlass sequel to its award-winning Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs rollicks across pirate ships and underwater adventures, entrancing the very young. Set up as a shaky school rehearsal, this cracking-pace show invites them to open their imaginations to meet pirate captains Flinn, Pearl and Tom, face their pirate dinosaur enemies, follow their search for the magic cutlass and see many fights over it. The fearsome sausage machine is yet another danger to be escaped.
Oliver Lansley’s stage adaptation of Giles Andreae and Russell Ayto’s picture book works well on all levels. Boisterous action is constantly enlivened by dramatic music and lively singing of Tom Recknell’s lyrics, with Disastrous Dinosaurs, Yo Ho and Unlimited Fishes firm favourites.
Zoe Squire’s set of sails, ladders and planks conjures the galleon deck, while ultra-rapid changing of her pirate and dinosaur costumes makes the four-member cast seem much bigger. Two towering dinosaur puppets – amazing creations by Max Humphries – scarily amuse by their sound and fury. Dominic Creasey, Rosie Nicholls and Patrick Warner are hugely entertaining as Captains Flinn, Pearl and Tom; Patrick Tolan bosses as teacher Miss Pie; all four cast members double splendidly as swashbuckling dinosaurs.