• Amy Toledano

Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs: The Magic Cutlass presented by Christmas in Leicester Square

What is it?

Adapted from the famous children’s book of the same name, this is a terrific stage version. Having done incredibly well up at the Edinburgh fringe this year, the tour of this show has landed at Underbelly’s Christmas in Leicester Square for the festive period. Myself and my wonderful reviewing partner for this show (Peggy, a 3 year old girl) love the book so were eager to come and see it performed live. We went, armed with vanilla ice cream and a dinosaur hat (that never made it out of her backpack unfortunately), so don’t just take my word for it, have a read at what Peggy thought of it too because who better to review a show for children that a child?

What is it about?

Peggy: ‘It was about dinosaurs and pirates and funny people. And a T-Rex. And there was a girl pirate on a boat.’

A band of school children lead by Flinn are putting on a play. The play, becomes reality as they are transported into their imaginary world and must defeat the ‘Pirate dinosaurs’. They do so by securing the ‘magic cutlass’ from under the sea that grants unlimited wishes... or as the T-Rex thinks, ‘fishes’ and save the day!

How did it make me feel?

Peggy: ‘It was funny. And scary. But not too scary because I like scary things like Halloween. It was about a T- Rex who has little tiny hands that made me laugh. There were puppets and an octopus and jellyfish. There were loud roars and I don’t like loud roars, but I wasn’t scared because they were funny.’

Technically very tight and slick, this production is a joy to watch. The whole company are remarkable, notably Tom Myles who plays Captain Flinn himself, and gives an energetic, skilful and witty portrayal of the lead that left both adults and children giggling in their seats. Good theatre is good theatre full stop regardless of what age it is aimed at and this is certainly of a very high standard. The tone is fast paced, sharp and humorous, pitched perfectly for children and allows their imaginations to run wild in the extraordinary world that is before them.

Where is it playing?

Peggy: ‘In the middle of London near the ice cream shop’

For those of you who can’t quite follow those directions Captain Flinn plays at Underbelly’s Christmas in Leicester Square until Jan 5th 2020.

Anything else?

Peggy: ‘Bubbles. Don’t forget to talk about the bubbles. And the real Captain Flinn said I was a princess.’

Like Peggy says, it has all the tropes you want in a children’s show; great lighting and sounds, puppetry, a strong set and movement pieces, engaging songs, bubbles, interaction and DINOSAURS. Peggy was thrilled with her colouring on the back of the programme and the free balloon. The actors offered a meet and greet post show and they were wonderful and kind with everyone who stayed as Peggy mentioned.

As an adult looking after a child I would say it was a perfect length, a wonderful adaptation of a beloved book with a strong and talented cast that is fun for all the family. I enjoyed the show almost as much as Peggy! The venue is ideal and there’s easy access in and out to re-enter with children and toilets with baby changing facilities nearby and a wonderful relaxed atmosphere in the space. I’d highly recommend this production and it exceeded my expectations; Peggy has not stopped talking about it since!

Sophie x ( And One Hundred Stars from Peggy!)

Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs is playing at Spiegeltent, Christmas in Leicester Square until the 5th January 2020.

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