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Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs review

Underbelly, Bristo Square

Shiver me timbers! Here's a show for kids with lots of heart, lots of fun and a little bit of fear. New theatre company Les Petits have adapted Giles Andreae and Russell Ayto's book which features the winning combination of pirates and dinosaurs. The roars in the theatre from the young audience I saw it with were, predictably, deafening.

Flinn and his friends Pearl and Tom are set a treasure hunt by their huge, jolly, Scottish teacher Mrs Pie. It takes them to the stationary cupboard, where they find a weeping pirate. When they discover that dinos have stolen his ship they go off on a pirate adventure of their own to claim it back.

This is a bright sparky production, filled with hum-along songs, beautiful puppets and a lot of imagination. The stage at the Underbelly here in Edinburgh doesn't quite lend itself to the show - everything is very high up and so actually feels a little removed. But that aside, it's likely to send the kids - anyone from ages 0 - 10 - into fits of giggles.

The slapstick action sequence in the middle, where the kids battle the nasty dinosaurs is surprisingly long, but thanks to some ingenious staging - where dinos pop out from all corners of the stage - doesn't drag.

It does, however, get a little scary, but refreshingly so. When the terrifying T Rex dinosaur captain arrives, he's huge, has very sharp teeth and isn't very nice. But it's surprising how partial to frightening thrills kids can be and in fact it was at this point that the fearless audience seemed to be happiest.


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