For God and Liberty! Can freedom-loving pirates overcome their mutual distrust to find peace and justice?
Libertalia is a new, immersive piece of theatre based on the old legend of a pirate colony, the Libertalia of the title. As the name suggests, it’s a place free from oppression, a just society where all colours and creeds can be equal.
Using the replica of Drake’s Golden Hinde as a pirate ship backdrop, the action revolves around four pirate captains, William Kidd, Charles Vane, Anne Bonney and Calico Jack. Urged on by Kidd, they have to work together to create this free pirate Utopia. But can pirates stop being pirates and overcome their mutual distrust to find peace and justice in their very own land?
To help the captains in their quest, the audience becomes crewmembers assigned to each pirate leader. Their task is to keep a watch over the other pirates, eavesdropping on conversations and picking up clues as to their true motivations.
The play’s action runs for around 100 minutes and there is plenty of time to get to know your fellow crew while clambering up and down the Golden Hinde’s steep steps from and to the hold-cum-bar. A lot of the minutes are spent down below, wine glass in hand, while the cursing captains move the plot along or sing a swashbuckling shanty or two before the final denouement.
The actors are good (they work during the day interpreting the ship to its visitors) and the playwright wants to inspire, educate and entertain. It is though a hit and miss production and there are more of the latter than the former. There’s some confrontational dialogue but little humour and real action, and despite some fine-sounding speeches, it feels rather lightweight compared to its stated weightier ideals.
It’s always fun to explore a tourist attraction out-of-hours, however, and if you want some unchallenging entertainment (and a bit of exercise!), Libertalia is a diverting way to spend an evening onboard the Golden Hinde. But Avast! and be quick because it’s only on for a short time. The show plays only on Thursday evenings and runs until early September.
St Mary Overie Dock
London SE1 9DE
Tel: 020 7403 0123
Libertalia is at the Golden Hinde from 15th August until 5th September 2019. For further information or to book visit the theatre’s website here.
Why not combine this with a London Bridge Food Tour? Check our review for more information