Reviews London TheatreOWE & Fringe Published 23 February 2016

Review: Captain Morgan 2: The Sea of Souls at Vaults

The Vaults ⋄ 17th - 28th February 2016

David Ralf reviews one of the most unashamedly silly things on offer at Vaults 2016.

David Ralf
Captain Morgan and the Sea of Souls at Vaults Festival 2016.

Captain Morgan and the Sea of Souls at Vaults Festival 2016.

Captain Morgan has the Sands of Time. If you want to know how he picked them up, you’ll have to see TapTap Theatre’s first Captain Morgan show, called – you guessed it – Captain Morgan: The Sands of Time. In this second self-contained adventure Captain Morgan has his soul stolen by evil French time continuity bureaucrats. He and Hammond his trusty first mate (I guess) must travel to the Wild West, return with the corpse of an evil man, and retrieve Morgan’s soul from the – you’re so quick – titular Sea of Souls. You may have guessed that this romp is not about the ins and outs of the narrative.

Rather this fast-paced, comedy hangs on its close interweaving of genre humour, just the right amount of self-awareness, and really smart multi-roling: think Stones in his Pockets at the speed of thought. Joe Newton and Edward Richards manage to walk into a bar, not only seamlessly playing Morgan and Hammond and the entire host of characters within, but even taking a moment to embody the swinging saloon doors. But though the silly voices and gurning of Newton and Richards and the shifts of character every few seconds nearly non-stop throughout are compelling, it is the way that David Ridley’s music is incorporated with Ben Behrens narrative that takes Captain Morgan from an entertaining festival hour to top-of-its-game stuff.

Music is an integral part of the show: Ridley’s harmonium and fiddle combo don’t just create the right mood for both the seafaring and Wild West sequences (the similarity of the vocal, colour and musical palettes of both settings is one of the cleverer jokes in the piece) but the live foley work contributes to gags – including a particularly inspired riff on a creaking floorboard routine.

A great way to spend an hour and one of the most unashamedly silly things on offer at the Vaults this year, you can see Captain Morgan 1 and 2 in rep on alternate nights until the 28th February.

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David Ralf

David Ralf is a writer and critic in London. He won the Sunday Times Harold Hobson Award for reviewing at the ISDF in 2012, and the Kenneth Tynan Prize for his reviews for the Oxford Theatre Review in 2011. He draws pens and doodles at Pens by Pens.

Review: Captain Morgan 2: The Sea of Souls at Vaults Show Info


Directed by Ben Behrens

Written by Ben Behrens

Cast includes Joe Newton and Edward Richards

Original Music David Ridley

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