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A CurtainUp London Review
Against Captain"'s Orders — A Journey Into the Uncharted
We are the crew of the HMS Adventure and we are each given a lightweight lifejacket to wear assigning us to a team on the ship, Midshipmen, Navigation, Ship's Watch and Salvage. Before we go into the first room we see posters about some objects we have to look out for in the depths of the museum.
We meet Arthur (Michael Cusick) a nervous museum curator who errs on the side of caution. Arriving late is Glan (Lowri James) a girl who relishes an adventure. Tied into the objects we are looking for are the sea stories of four nautical heroes and heroines. Grace Darling was the daughter of a lighthouse keeper who took a rowing boat out to rescue some stranded sailors in high seas off the coast of Northumberland in 1838. The seas were too rough to launch the lifeboat and Grace and her father rescued the stranded men and a lone surviving woman who Grace had spotted from the lighthouse on a nearby island using a small telescope.
Inspired by these stories we go on our own adventure into the corridors and rooms of the storage vaults of the museums. I can't give any more of the adventure away but the thoroughness of Punchdrunk's intricate and elaborate sets, with dramatic sound and lighting, will not disappoint.
On the day I saw it, the children were so involved as they scampered through the rooms searching for clues, they were having a wonderful time and saying "Aye" when called for. It wasn't though the scary experience I had in Manchester a few year's back in a Punchdrunk production, when I was chased around a maze by a man wielding a chain saw, but still something the children will never forget.
Retold by Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Co.
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