UK. Swallows and Amazons: The Stage Play

Monday, 27 February 2012

I am, even though I'm in my middle fifties,  still a fan of Arthur Ransomes inspiring nautical tales of the Swallows & the Amazons.

I am not as a rule a fan of the musical theatre. So it was with some reservations that I turn up to see the new touring production of Swallows and Amazons at The Wycombe Swan Theatre.

I shouldn't  have worried at all. The writing by Helen Edmundson is crisp and faithful to the spirit of Ransome. The staging is as bright and inventive as a production directed by Tom Morris, who recently co- directed the incomparable Warhorse should be and the music and lyrics by Neil Hannon of Divine Comedy fame is a perfect compliment to the story.

Set in 1929 the story of the Swallows, the dutiful & proper Walker family and their shared adventures with the more feisty Amazons, is given added poignancy by hindsight. The idyllic childhood summer holidays spent sailing in the Lake District without a care in the world will,  we know with certainty, lead to years of turmoil and war in the young adulthood of these same characters.

This is consummate story telling that kept both audiences, the children and the accompanying adults, enthralled. If you have children or grandchildren take them to see Swallows and Amazons and enjoy yourself. who knows you might make sailors out of them. If you don't have access to children go anyway. You won't regret it.

Tom Walsh


Last Updated ( Monday, 27 February 2012 )