Theatre Review: Robinson Crusoe and the Caribbean Pirates

Rating (out of 5)
Show details
Qdos Entertainment
Paul Elliott (director and writer), Allan Stewart (writer)
Allan Stewart (Mrs Crusoe), Grant Stott (Blackheart the Pirate), Johnny Mac (Robinson Crusoe), Charlie Cairoli (The Captain), Jo Freer (The Mermaid), Moyo Omoniyi (Girl Friday), Quintin Young (Bosun McTrap), dancers (Edinburgh Dance Academy)
Running time

We all know what time of year it is when the King's unleashes its annual romp through Pantoland and this season it's the turn of their tweaked and tailored version of that well worn Robinson Crusoe classic.

Stuffed to bursting point with camp dance routines and brash sing-a-longs, Paul Elliott's production is one of its slickest Yuletide offerings to date and with themes of wealth – or lack there of – there's a relevant social statement in there as well.

In it we meet Robinson Crusoe (Johnny Mac) who sets sail for Mango Island in search of buried treasure with his battle-axe mother (Allan Stewart) and a motor-mouth mermaid (Jo Freer) in tow.

The Crusoes aren't the only ones in search of riches though as Blackheart (Grant Stott) – the most dastardly pirate in all of Firth of Forth – plans to get his mitts on the loot as well.

Will good triumph over evil? Will Robinson hit it off with Girl Friday (Moyo Omoniyi)? And will Allan Stewart make enough costumes changes to rival the Lady Boys of Bangkok?

Sit tight for two glitter spewing hours and all will be revealed.

It's been three years since panto stalwart Andy Gray swapped the Edinburgh stage for Glasgow and in that time the King's seems to have gone through something of a transition. While Stott is not a new face to the cast he seems more comfortable than ever fielding off the boos and hisses from overexcited audience members while Mac adds a delighfully dopey flair to his traditional prince charming-esque role.

Stewart, as always, seems to relish every second as panto dame from launching into a rendition of Beyonce's Single Ladies to marching round the stage dressed as if he was dragged backwards through the costume department.

With enough tram gags to keep a smile on the locals' faces, there are also plenty of other treats in store including a spectacular ultraviolet underwater world, newcomer Omoniyi's impressive powerhouse vocals and an original and rather Scottish take of the Twelve Days of Christmas.

So as we leave 2009 behind and enter a new year full of more financial uncertainty, catching a glimpse of the King's treasure map while you can doesn't seem like a bad idea at all.

More on this year's Edinburgh pantomimes and christmas shows