“In times when evil casts his stain, all good pirates will rise again.”
Things are not always what they seem. Take pirates for example, the name conjures up either a violent criminal gang of outlaw sailors or a band of comical two-dimensional children’s characters. In reality, many people fell into piracy to escape abusive lives or as a means to just survive the harsh realities of the time. Lawlessness was rife, not just amongst criminal types but right through society. From the poor who stole just to eat to corrupt government officials ready to line their own pockets at any cost.
What if some pirates from long ago were basically good people at heart? What would their lives have been like if society had been different? Moreover, what sort of people would they be if they lived today? The answers are revealed in the strange tale of the Buccaneers.
One stormy night, a ghostly pirate ship appears out of the mist. On board are the remains of four long dead pirates. With the haunting melody of a long-forgotten sea shanty, the ghouls crack and split apart, and the pirates are reborn. Their mission to seek the most valuable treasure of all,…. LIFE!
This lively and energetic production features four pirates who tell each other’s stories through dramatic scenes, songs and by becoming all the different characters of their former lives using masks and dance routines. With an intricate dramatic plot, the audience are taken on a strange dark adventure as the pirates come to terms with their new lives as they strive to discover “the purpose.” The play explores the true-life experiences of the pirates and, how as people, they suffered abuse and tragic circumstances that ultimately lead them to piracy.
Inspired by the real pirates, Anne Bonny, John Rackham & Mary Read.
This is not just another pirate show, this is a drama about four people, who through tragic circumstances and abuse, became murderous cutthroats, hellbent on robbery with violence and aggression. When given a second chance at life in this fantasy adventure, they turn from hardened criminals to heroes and champions for justice and the disadvantaged.
The play highlights issues relevant today such as the acceptance of Mary Read who dressed as a man 300 years ago and who today would be regarded as a person whose gender identity is different from that they were born with. If the pirates can embrace empathy and understanding of others, then so can we!
The play had its first public performance as an online streaming production, followed up with condensed versions touring to festivals. In October 2021 the first full preview was staged at the Baldock Arts Centre, with a second preview at Beccles Public Halls in April 2022, all receiving positive and encouraging feedback.
“The Buccaneers is a really strong piece. The movement and use of the stage was poetically beautiful, and it has a real kinetic energy. I thought the vocals were strong, but the real showstoppers are the fight scenes and the wonderful way the stage is used. The dance & fight pieces were spectacular for me and real highlights x It’s humorous but also humble. I think it’s a wonderful performance and the show itself does stand up 100 percent. I loved it.”
Kyra Jessica Willis - Monsteers Artistry
“A calm Anne Bonny and her three henchmen tell us their stories; they weave a deeply enjoyable show. The Buccaneers is a rollicking tale of the pirate life: a delightful musical with comedy set on the high seas.”
Louise Penn – loureviews.blog
“I liked it! You worked so hard! Love the traditional songs and the fun characters! Bravo and lots of fun!! “
David Bradshaw –
Cruise Director Royal Caribbean International
“The show had energy, colour, and spectacle with an array of familiar and rousing musical numbers. We commend you for your enthusiasm and commitment to staging such a complex production. We should certainly like to have news of other things you might have in the pipeline.”
Liz Ellis – Baldock Arts Centre
"You are to be congratulated for your versatile and imaginative approach to attracting an audience and that’s in the very best tradition of popular entertainment down the ages. I do hope the show goes well." (Rt Hon Sir Oliver Heald QC MP)
For all tour booking enquiries, including technical details, you can download our theatre pack brochure or directly call or email us.
To build awareness and interaction with local communities, we run a programme of workshops and immersive lectures on the history of piracy for all ages. We run workshops at the theatre or in local schools and community venues.
Our schools educational pirate workshop, Under the Brave Black Flag, can be downloaded here.
Who are The Buccaneers?
There are four pirates who make up the Buccaneers. Anne Bonny - played by Annie Albici, Jack Calico - played by Ian Britten-Hull, Mark Read - Played by Pippa Lea and Angus (Jock) McTavish - played by Moneer Elmasseek.
The Buccaneers are no ordinary pirates and although they have a rough exterior, they all have hearts of gold. All four of them came together from tragic backgrounds and in their own way formed a family dependant on each other.
Based on the real Anne Bonny who was one of the few female pirates. Anne left her abusive husband and ran away with Jack Calico. In our story, Anne joins a troop of gypsies who help her escape her troubled domestic situation. With a new carefree life, she meets new friend all with troubled backgrounds and they naturally all bond together. Anne is the strength and brains of the group and although she can be forthright and harsh at times, she cares deeply for others especially if they have suffered situations that were not their fault. She is a fighter for justice and will take onboard anyone needing a friend. She is the real captain of the ship and allows Jack to think he’s the captain although she is the one that holds them all together. Anne loves a good party and can drink and dance with the best of them. Anne really does know how to grab life by the scruff of the neck and make the most of living.
Jack is also based on a real pirate called John Rackham whose nickname was "Calico Jack" due to his flamboyant nature. Our Jack is also the flamboyant member of our crew. He thinks of himself as “the captain” but no one else does. That’s fine because it tickles his own ego and that’s really all that matters to Jack. He fell in love with Anne when they met in Nassau whilst under the King’s pardon, but after joining with Anne, he soon slipped back into his old ways of piracy, thirsty for adventure. Live for the present is Jack’s motto and all too often he acts on impulse getting not only himself into trouble, but everyone else as well. Jack never misses a trick; he is cunning and astute but doesn’t show it. He cares for his friends and like Anne will always fight injustice.
Mark was rescued from an abusive merchant navy sea captain on a raid and was the last member of the crew to join the happy band. Mark is kind and gentle and gives the group it’s human soul. He is also the one to advise caution when things might be getting a little out of hand, which happens quite often. He puts up with McTavish’s constant teasing because he knows McTavish only means it as a form of endearment. Mark is troubled by waking nightmares of a child and a prison cell, but what could they mean? Has it anything to do with the personal secret he tries to hide from everyone?
Angus McTavish or “Jock” as the crew call him is strong and forceful. He is the honourable warrior of the gang. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly and can easily fly off the handle. That said, his bark is far worse than his bite. He is the intellect of the group and is the planner. Jock is always there at his friends’ side when fighting for justice and fair play. McTavish’s claim to fame is he was the one who killed Edward Teach otherwise known as “Blackbeard”
After Jack and Anne were captured, Jock escaped and returned to his native Scotland to join the Jacobite rebellion. He died a hero fighting for his country on the famous battlefield of Culloden.
Touring from April 2023 / 2024
Coming to a venue near you!...
Staging is designed to be flexible for varying stage sizes. The Minimum space required is 5M wide by 4M deep and 3M high. The set expands to a maximum of 8m wide by 6m deep and 5M high. We use two mini mist machines and toy caps in the flintlock pistols.
We also have an outreach programme that is a unique experience for the educational programme that can accompany the production, for students to explore the history of pirates under the famous people in history, as subject. Contact us to discuss this.