Interview: Oliver Lansley on Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs 2: The Magic Cutlass

Based on the award-winning book by Giles Andreae and Russell Ayto, Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs 2: The Magic Cutlass whisks the audience away for another fantastic adventure to a world of devious dinosaurs, deep sea dangers and smelly sausages. Artistic Director of Les Petits Theatre Company Oliver Lansley talks to us about adapting the picturebook, advice for writers and more…

Photo: The Other Richard

This is the much anticipated sequel to Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs. What new adventures can we expect to see from Flinn and the crew?

So many things – we have a sausage machine, a 7ft T- Rex, pirate ship battles and of course a magic cutlass! It’s a completely new show, so although it still has pirates and dinosaurs in it, it has a whole new story with new songs and adventures. Doing a sequel has been a fantastic opportunity to learn from the first show and make this even bigger and better.

What do you hope the audience will take away from the production?

We approach children’s theatre the same way we approach all our theatre. At the end of the day it’s all about story telling. Were often trying to just entertain ourselves and make ourselves laugh – this show has some great, silly gags in it that adults will enjoy.

You adapted the show from the award-winning book by Giles Andreae and Russell Ayto. What was this creative process like and did you find it hard bringing the characters to life from the book?

With a picture book like this the story is very slight, so you need to find ways to bring that to the stage and tell a story over the course of a full show. It’s an exciting challenge to figure out how to create things such as pirate dinosaurs and put them in the real world!

You are also the Artistic Director for Les Petits Theatre Company and Les Enfants Terribles. How did you get to where you are today?

I have no idea. A love of theatre, telling stories, messing around and a lot of luck (probably quite a bit of hard work too)!

What was your favourite book growing up?

That’s a tough one. It was probably a Roald Dahl… I think I’ll go for The Witches.

What would you say to encourage people to buy a ticket?

I think exposing kids to theatre at a young age is so important. It’s also important that they are given an experience that they will love and develop their passion and imagination. Our job is to do that bit – your job is to buy the ticket…

Any advice for budding writers?

Write! It sounds simple and it sort of is. Just keep writing as you get better by doing it. Also finish things, until you write the words The End, it’s nothing more than an idea. And finally show it to people, no point in writing the greatest story in the world if nobody gets to read it.

Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs 2: The Magic Cutlass tours until April 2018, for further details click here.

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