VIDEO: QMS hurdle challenges and bring ‘Treasure Island’ to life onstage

Queen Margaret’s School’s presentation of Treasure Island last weekend showed how concentrating on the most important details and working hard on characterization can overcome the difficulties of bringing a wide sweeping story to a handkerchief-sized stage.

Director Paul Totzke quarterbacked the students in a unique version of Robert Louis Stevenson’s famous adventure story.

It took place in a classroom where the students themselves presented the play. It allowed for the all-girl cast, and gave the kids a lot of scope to really enjoy themselves.

Based on Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale of young Jim Hawkins’s search for treasure and his tempestuous relationship with infamous pirate Captain Long John Silver, it’s a legendary tale.

Through narration by Robert Louis Stevenson, theatregoers will be taken on an exciting adventure with heroes as well as a cast of pirates and sailors.

There’s something about putting on a pirate’s costume that brings out the swashbuckler in everyone, and the QMS girls threw themselves into it with gusto.

Sets were very basic, and yet, with projections on the back wall of the stage, audience members found themselves in believable taverns, on board a ship, and on a tropical island, engrossed in the action taking place before them as the students, who ranged from Grades 7 to 12, obviously took delight in getting outside their usual lives.

“Lauren McLeod who portrays the hero Jim Hawkins is only in Grade 7, yet she plays strongly opposite Savannah Meadus in Grade 9 (Captain Long John Silver) and Kira Kier in Grade 12 (Pirate Israel Hands). This group is very special,” Totzke said.

Through the narration of Robert Louis Stevenson and his nephew Lloyd, theatregoers will be taken on an exciting swashbuckling adventure with heroes as well as a cast of pirates and sailors.

Long John Silver (Savannah Meadus) tells the crew about his plans. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Jim Hawkins (Lauren McLeod) and his friends decide to stay in the stockade. After all, they are well supplied. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Squire Trelawney proudly promises to fit out a ship to go treasure hunting. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Jim Hawkins meets a bad tempered stranger. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Capt. Smollett may not have got much from the ship, but he saved the Union Jack. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Long John Silver’s pirates arrive on the ship. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
It’ll be easy to steal the treasure, says Long John Silver. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
The crew is delighted at stealing the treasure map but there are still rocky times ahead. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Squire Trelawney, Dr. Livesay, and Jim Hawkins are excited to see the map of Treasure Island. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)
Trelawney, Hawkins, Smollett, and Livesay realize they are in grave danger. (Lexi Bainas/Citizen)

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