Breaking box office records back in September by exceeding sales for all previous on-sale dates for Christmas shows, Le Navet Bete’s Treasure Island is a comedy adventure set to provide audiences with a pure dose of escapism this festive season.
Daniel Buckroyd, our Artistic Director & Chief Executive of Exeter Northcott said:
‘We all know that Christmas is a time for coming together, and this year, perhaps more than any in recent memory, I’m sure we’re all yearning to put the last twelve months behind us and celebrate our hope for a better year ahead. Which is why we’ve been determined to strain every sinew to get the Northcott open again and Covid-safe in time for families and friends to gather and share in the joy of watching a Christmas show together.’
We’ve put in place a number of COVID-safe measures including socially distanced seating, temperature testing, one-way signage and pre-ordering drinks facilities so that refreshments can be served to audiences in their seats. The venue hosted a sold-out socially distanced gig in October with positive feedback from all bookers:
‘Thank you for a super evening; the organisation and Covid-Safety were extremely good and we all felt very safe. A great night out!’
Performed with just a cast of four in their own inimitable style, Treasure Island is performed by Devon-based company Le Navet Bete who lace Robert Louis Stevenson’s legendary tale with a whole host of contemporary comedic twists, including an unusual motley crew of pirates, a parrot called Alexa (straight from the Amazon), a certain white bearded fish finger tycoon and a mermaid you’ll never forget.
Recently published and licensed worldwide by Nick Hern Books,Treasure Island is the company’s seventh collaboration with one of UK theatre’s leading comedy directors and writers John Nicholson. Bristol based John is Artistic Director of the award-winning Peepolykus (The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Massive Tragedy of Madame Bovary) and has previously written for BBC Radio 4, ITV and Paramount. John is joined on the creative team by Devon based designer Fi Russell whose ingenious and versatile set takes audiences from the lofty heights of a ship’s sail, to the sandy beaches of a tropical island in a matter of seconds, and composer Peter Coyte, whose thrilling original score perfectly complements the adventure unfolding on stage.
Co-writer and director John said ‘Le Navet Bete have an inimitable flair for multi-character work and also a love for bonkers story – telling. Treasure Island is an epic, escapist, coming of age adventure. It’s a big story. So theatrical adaptations tend to employ sizeable casts. This adaptation however is written for a cast of four actors, who seamlessly transition between 26 characters – so it’s certainly epic backstage!’
He added ‘The script and some of the action has been adapted in response to COVID restrictions. In fact, it was touch and go whether Le Navet Bete would be able to get a Christmas production on its feet at all this year. In this respect, huge thanks must go to Daniel Buckroyd and the Northcott Theatre for boldly stepping out (and in) to support this production.’
Nick Bunt from Le Navet Bete said ‘With monumental effort and sheer determination from so many people and an abundance of messages of support from our wonderful audiences, we are utterly delighted and very proud to be putting on Treasure Island at the Exeter Northcott Theatre this Christmas. Robert Louis Stevenson’s original tale had always been one in the back of our minds; the characters and narrative give us so much to work with, to create an immensely fun, true to the story (ish!), larger-than-life world to play with and put our own hilariously chaotic spin on.’