How do you adapt Arthur Ransome’s classic children’s novel, originally set in the Lake District in 1930, for the modern stage?
If you are Helen Edmundson, the answer is by getting the audience to use their imagination.
Her version relies on cleverly-used props and striking sound effects to conjure up a time when children spent much of their time outdoors, went sailing on lakes (with little or no safety equipment!), camped in the wild and got into some scary situations.
This Theatre Royal Youth production asks a lot of its young actors because much of the tension relies on their excited/fearful/enthusiastic reactions to the events that unfold in the play.
Isaac Fillingham stands out as the sinister Captain Flint – and the Pirates are suitably menacing. A special mention also goes to the Parrot, deftly operated by Sophia Alford.
The play runs until tomorrow (Saturday) at the Theatre Royal, Workington, starting at 7pm. Tickets (£7 adults and £5 children) are available online or on the door.