Feisty and energetic, Paul Elliott’s take on Crusoe sets out from Edinburgh in a well-conceived and delivered local plot. Grant Stott’s villainous Pirate Blackheart is a local radio DJ in mid-life crisis. Jo Freer’s goodie is a magical mermaid – and Blackheart’s estranged wife – with attitude and motor-mouth to match.
If this tempers the fight between good and evil – Stott has to work hard to get the boos he deserves – all else is as it should be. Allan Stewart’s Mrs Crusoe provides plenty of topical and local gags, frocks, impersonations and musical numbers with suitably doctored lyrics. Johnny Mac is a great sidekick as her son Robinson, providing more cheeky energy.
Charlie Cairoli as their Captain and Quintin Young as his Bosun broaden the scope for the routines, while Moyo Omoniyi’s Girl Friday is big voiced and provides strong love interest as the action moves to Mango Island.
In a production that is mercifully free of technical gimmicks as it goes back to the basics of comedy, music and routines, Safire’s Black Light underwater sequence is a standout treat. The nine-strong dance troupe are quick-footed and help add depth as various pirates and islanders. The music is crisp under Richard Anderson’s direction and Ian Westbrook’s sets look the part.