Edinburgh Festival Fringe theatre review: Captain Morgan 2: The Sea of Souls, reviewed by The Scotsman’s Paul Whitelaw.
A rip-roaring comedy epic performed by two versatile, highly physical actors, Captain Morgan 2: The Sea of Souls is a delightful tumult of nonsense following Captain Morgan 1: The Sands of Time, a revival of which is running concurrently throughout the Fringe. Don’t worry if you missed it, as chapter two contains an abridged synopsis to bring you up to speed.
Our pirate anti-hero is Captain Morgan, a vessel of bearded bombast who has in his possession the Sands of Time. This precious bounty allows him to steal treasures – and hearts – throughout the time vortex. It also allows the franchise to spoof various genres, in this case a sharply observed burlesque of Wild West conventions, in which no familiar archetype, from the saloon belle to the lugubrious local yokel, is left untouched.
The plot? Captain Morgan falls victim to a pair of hilariously louche Frenchmen, who steal the Sands of Time together with his soul. And so the chase is on to recover his stolen loot.
Joe Newton and Ed Richards play a jostling crowd of 44 characters. With dazzling accuracy and speed, they comfortably inhabit each one. They also have an impressive knack for conjuring ridiculous scenarios and action sequences without the use of props. Underscored by an on-stage musician playing violin and harmonium, it’s ingeniously staged.
It’s also very funny. Sketched in delightfully silly shades of Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin’s Time Bandits, The Sea of Souls is a smartly crafted riot of knowing absurdity. Such is its charm, it even gets away with the occasional jolt of dark humour, but there’s nothing here to upset parents or the older children in their care.
Pleasance Dome (Venue 23) until 30 August / listings
Published in The Scotsman on 17 August 2015
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