Posts Tagged ‘Mutiny on the Bounty’

The settlement of tiny Pitcairn island by the Bounty’s mutineers and their Tahitian wives seems to me like a good subject for a play and it seems well suited to a theatre like The Globe. The trouble is the production is a bit too panto, so its only partially successful.

Prolific playwright Richard Bean frames the piece with a visit from a couple of British warships looking for the mutineers. By then though there’s only one left, a nobody (apparently) called Adams, who’s allowed to stay. The balance of the play follows the settlers from when they arrived from Tahiti to make a new life of sexual promiscuity in paradise – until some of the men crossed the line from consent to force, which leads to the women exacting tough and bloody punishment. And then there was one….. Back in the real world, Pitcairn has had it’s own recent sandals where promiscuity was again pushed too far, but in a different direction.

It’a very playful, with Bean’s trademark irreverence and wit, but not very substantial. Breaking the fourth wall frequently, but not always successfully, it exploits the Globe’s capacity for inclusiveness, and occupies the groundling space a fair bit, but at the expense of some depth I thought. The design places a rocky ‘island’ on the stage and rocks on the ground, relying on authentic costumes for time and location. There’s some good movement and use of music and I loved the spin on the Globe’s customary closing dance – a hacker!

There are good performance all round and the cast’s sense of fun is infectious, but it’s not really enough – there’s something missing. It’s hard to see where it could be changed, so maybe its just another partially successful new play here at The Globe – there have been a fair few. Worth a visit, as long you don’t set your expectations too high. As it was Mr Bean, mine were.

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