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Le Navet Bete Presents TREASURE ISLAND


Devon comedy troupe Le Navet Bete have turned the best-known pirate tale in history inside out to create a unique and hilariously modern festive show.

The company behind a string of hit comedies, from Dracula: The Bloody Truth to The Three Musketeers, has joined forces once again with Barbican Theatre, Plymouth for their 9th Christmas production, following on from last year's smash hit Aladdin.

The quartet return to the city's Athenaeum with the brand new show, taking audiences on a rib-tickling adventure with much-loved characters Billy Bones and Long John Silver.

Robert Louis Stevenson's epic Caribbean quest for pirate booty has been radically reworked by regular writer and director John Nicholson to include a diversion into TV gameshow history, a sassy 21-century mermaid and a disobedient digital parrot, called Alexa.

John, who is co-artistic director of Peepolykus and has written extensively for BBC Radio 4, said:

"The boys' inimitable flair for multi-character work and love of bonkers story telling" was the starting point for making the story work with a cast of four.

"The original story is pretty graphic - for a start the pirates are ruthless - so we've kept the stakes high but also given it that all important level of comic absurdity that fans of Le Navet Bete know and love.'

The tale begins on Christmas Eve in the Admiral Benbow Inn where Jim Hawkins is serving ale to the pub's one and only customer.

Suddenly the door bursts open and in strides Billy Bones, the infamous pirate, to change Jim's life forever.

Treasure Island is a hilarious, rip-roaring comedy adventure splicing swashbuckling pirates with tropical islands and high seas.

After their last show Dracula: The Bloody Truth was licensed worldwide with sell-out runs in the USA and Canada, the award-winning Le Navet Bete are back for a 36-show residency.

This brand-new show sees the company of four take on 30 characters, many dozens of different outfits and costume changes as Stevenson's 19th century classic is condensed into two hours of mayhem and madness.

Sheila Snellgrove, CEO of Barbican Theatre, said:

"We're thrilled to be working on another Christmas show with Le Navet Bete and can't wait to see what they do with this classic tale.

"Being a coastal city with a great maritime history Plymouth is the perfect place to perform a family friendly, festive version of this incredible story about treasure maps, pirate brawls, mutiny and sailing the seas."

Nick Bunt co-artistic director of Le Navet Bete said:

"We are so excited to be back in Plymouth for our ninth Christmas show. Since 2011 we've been teaming up with co-producers Barbican Theatre to bring our own unique brand of madcap physical comedy to Plymouth audiences with huge success.

"This year we're tackling the classic Treasure Island so you can expect plenty of pirates, tropical islands and high seas mixed with the usual characters, Long John Silver and Jim Hawkins, but, as always, we've gone and thrown in our own dose of lunacy, lots of plot twists and a bucket load of extra characters who never appeared in Stevenson's original book. It's going to be a lot of fun!"

Le Navet Bete & Barbican Theatre's production of Treasure Island is at The Plymouth Athenaeum from 12 December 2019 to 5 January 2020.

Tickets £18 concessons, £20 full or buy 2 full + 2 under 16s for £72 Book tickets at or call 01752 267131

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