Really Big Pants Theatre company’s latest production is a squeaky-clean swashbuckling adventure with an environmental bent. Plundered is Pirates of the Caribbean for primary-aged eco-warriors, with time-travel, Kung Fu Panda and of course, really big pants.
Maggie and Roy have been paired together for a museum visit – mischievous Maggie (Willow Nash) can’t be bothered with the boring maritime project they have to work on, while goody-two-shoes Roy (Joe Bromley) is aiming for a gold star. Somehow the unlikely duo end up on Blackbeard’s ship, facing up to the despicable captain whose dastardly deeds bypass pillaging and plundering, and mainly involve littering. It’s a sincere story of friendship, teamwork, and Roy-cycling.
There’s lots of audience interaction, and plenty of the cheeky humour you would expect from a company named after oversized undies. It’s all very innocent and earnest; both schoolchildren seem to have slipped out of a Just William story. Even naughty Maggie is quickly reformed, deciding that “Museums aren’t boring, they’re fascinating!”, and reproaching her former wrong-headed views: “How could I ever have thought it was cool to litter? It’s so not cool!”
It’s not easy to create this style of pop-up theatre, able to adapt to a range of venues and hugely varying age ranges, and creating shows that can tackle varied subjects and different bits of the curriculum. So whilst Plundered! never reaches any great depths, it is a successfully sweet, educationally-focused experience.
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