Captain Morgan and his plucky sidekick First Mate Hammond are back, injecting adventure and silliness into the high seas. With much swashbuckling they do battle with monsters and the dastardly Royal Navy as they race to get to the treasure first. There’s just two actors and one tame musician to rise to the challenge of performing all 44 separate characters – quite something to behold.
It’s a story within a story… sometimes within a story, but most of the actual plot consists of the two pirates explaining how they succeeded in finding the sands of time. Not easily, it turns out, as they encounter monsters ranging from a disgruntled sea god to a giant millipede. There’s also the naval-captain-turned-privateer Renshaw and his RP accent to overcome. Of course, with the sands of time at the centre of it all, there’s some vital (if slightly confusing) time travel.
Some of the characters along the way are great fun – I particularly enjoyed Captain Morgan’s dad Mad Ivor Morgan, and Quentin the gap year student. With so many characters that the performance is genuinely quite a feat, yet the two actors with limited props manage to pull it off. All of the antics are accompanied by music, which goes a long way to make up for the limited resources they have on stage.
However, I was a bit weary by the end of all the fast-paced switches between characters, and some of it did feel a like watching an acting class in progress – albeit a funny one. The moment when they suddenly turn into pterodactyls is a case in point. The story within a story format did also wear slightly thin too.
But the duo possess a staggering amount of energy, and this is an ideal show for fans of slapstick and physical comedy. It’s also an impressive demonstration of what can be done with a lot of imagination and a total disregard for worrying about getting a little sweaty. For me the monsters they portrayed stole the show… and unlike much of the Fringe there’s nothing too offensive in the content, so although it’s not aimed at kids, it makes an ideal choice for older families or grandparents with sensitive ears.