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Acclaimed theatre company sails home with a swashbuckling favourite

Date: 04/08/2008           Category: Arts and Libraries

A tale of pirates, skulduggery and buried treasure will unfold at The Brook Theatre in Chatham this December, as this year’s Christmas production will be a new musical adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island. At the helm will be Blunderbus Theatre Company, with its most ambitious production yet, aimed at children aged 5 and up. A professional cast, supported by a talented ensemble of local young performers, will capture the sinister excitement of the classic novel, using storytelling, sea shanties, live music, beautiful puppetry sequences and a magnificent handcrafted set. Now celebrating its 10th anniversary, Blunderbus was formed in 1998 and has received continued acclaim for transforming classic children’s literature for the Brook Theatre stage since 2004. Led by artistic director Bill Davies, cast and crew have wowed family audiences with magical retellings of The Adventures of Pinocchio, The Wind in the Willows and Charlotte’s Web. The company also commissions new writing which is relevant to young audiences and has an underlying moral theme. New plays at the Brook Theatre have included Lily and the Magical Moonbeam and The Selfish Crocodile (following a hugely sucessful sell-out run at the Edinburgh Festival), and Giraffes Can’t Dance, which was performed at the venue earlier this year. Currently based in the heart of Sherwood Forest, Nottinghamshire, Blunderbus now plays to over 100,000 children and adults each year, and has firmly established its reputation for strong production values and a highly innovative visual style. Using the skills of accomplished actor-puppeteers, Bill Davies and his team are able to use tabletop, rod, shadow and body puppets alongside professional actors to tell any story to magical effect, while giving very young audiences their first real insight into the world of theatre craft. Bill Davies says: “Medway audiences have always been delighted by our Christmas offering, but this year, we aim to raise the bar in an ambitious retelling of the much-loved pirate tale. With live music, puppetry, professional actors, and an ensemble of young performers from the Medway area, Treasure Island guarantees to be the most spectacular family show Blunderbus has ever produced.” Treasure Island runs at The Brook Theatre from 12 – 28 December 2008. For tickets and show times contact the Box Office on 01634 338338 or book online at www.medway.gov.uk/theatrebooking