Treasure Island, Walkabout Theatre 2017 in Williamson Park, Lancaster, produced by The Dukes, Lancaster
One of the highlights of summer in Lancaster is walkabout theatre presented by The Dukes in Williamson Park. It’s worth casting an eye back in time because this is a very special year that marks 30 years of staging what has become the UK’s largest outdoor walkabout theatre. Locally you’ll hear people talk about ‘the play in the park’.
Whoever you talk to in and around the area has fond memories of particular productions, personally I remember acting as a steward for several years and noting the minor differences between individual performances on different evenings. The different characters of audiences and of course the varied weather.
Over half a million people have promenaded around Williamson Park and it a great testimony to everyone concerned.
2017 sees a new adaptation of Treasure Island produced by The Dukes. The action takes places in six different locations around Williamson Park, starting in the recently-refurbished childrens’ playground making it an ideal location because it already contains a large pirate ship and plenty of space for the audience. Here the action opens in the present day then transforms into a more traditional setting using dramatic and unexpected techniques throughout.
the other five.
It always surprises me how creative and inventive use of the Williamson Park locations transforms the play into something magical. This year the large space between the Ashton Memorial and the Butterfly House becomes a beach. The action that takes place there is visually exciting and memorable.
Scene five follows deep in the woods and features a solo piece of action by Tom (Gareth Cassidy), who is able to mould his body and face into impossible contortions with ease resulting in something that is highly amusing. The final scene on the lake is magical with a huge floating ship and a final return to modern day reality.
The creative use of puppets operated by the cast includes a large cat, seagulls, a dragon, shark and parrot, some adding to the story, others seemed popular with the audience but could be distracting. The opening transformation from modern day to pirate action did not work well, nor the return to ‘reality’ with a stranded main character, but once into the story the action and suspense is non-stop and builds consistently to its climax.
A visual and theatrical spectacle that will delight audiences of all ages.
Note for parents: Finishes around 10:15pm.
Taster and Trailer video
Production photos for Treasure Island - outdoor walkabout theatre 2017, produced by The Dukes, Lancaster
A selection of photographs showing scenes from Treasure Island, the 2017 walkabout theatre production by The Dukes, Lancaster.
This production runs until August 12, 2017 and takes place at various location in Lancaster's Williamson Park.
Click the images below for a slide show . . .