Robert Louis Stevenson’s ‘Treasure Island’ is an out-and-out adventure story, plain and simple. Except that it isn’t plain and simple: it is complex and rich, full of detail, with extraordinary characters, peril, treachery, excitement and camaraderie. And it is full of sailing terminology now lost on most modern readers, making it a challenge for all but the most erudite of students. But for those who persevere, the rewards are plentiful, and it is no surprise that it is one of the most often dramatized and adapted of all novels. In this new musical version, the bare bones of the story are the same, but a lot has changed to help make it more accessible and engaging to its 21st Century performers and audience. We hope it resonates with all and has everybody longing to discover a treasure map and head off on adventures of their own.
The adventure begins with a question: what would you do if you found a treasure map? (IF YOU FIND A TREASURE MAP) before Jen welcomes the audience onto the Hispaniola, already on its way to Skeleton Island in search of buried treasure using the map Jen found.
The crew of the ship are mostly welcoming, though Jen is unsure about the mysterious (if friendly) Long John Silver and his parrot Cap’n Flint (LONG JOHN SILVER). Soon, though, she has more pressing concerns when she starts to feel the full effects of being at sea (IF YOU’RE FEELING SEASICK).
Having found her sea-legs, Jen enjoys dinner with the crew, only to be thrown into a panic when Long John asks her about the treasure map. Overheard by a handful of others, before long the news has travelled throughout the whole crew and anticipation starts to build (BURIED TREASURE).
The next day, Jen dozes off in the apple barrel, only to be woken by hushed voices. Georgie Merry and her cronies are talking about the map, and worse, mutiny! (MURMUR MUTINY). Jen is shocked, then even more aghast when Long John Silver arrives and she discovers he is clearly the ring leader. Before she has time to tell Captain Smollett or Dr Livesey, land is sighted and the eerie Skeleton Island looms ahead of them (SKELETON ISLAND).
Finally, Jen manages to tell the Captain about the plot to mutiny once the pirates have found the treasure. He tells her to stay close to Long John Silver and learn more.
On the island with the pirates, Jen worries that she will be discovered as a spy. When Long John Silver tells her that he already knows, she flees, chased by Georgie Merry and cronies who believe she still has the map on her.
Lost in the interior of the island, Jen meets the wild Ben Gunn, who has been marooned on the island for three years when his crew (including Long John Silver) set sail without him (MAN OF THE ISLAND). Strange though he is, Jen feels safe with Ben who welcomes her into his ‘home’.
Elsewhere on the island, Captain Smollett and his allies decide to confront Long John Silver about his plans to take over the ship once the treasure has been found. He feigns ignorance and tells them that Jen is off scouting the island with a few others. Captain Smollett, Dr Livesey and the others set off to find her.
Back on board the Hispaniola, Israel Hands and Breezy O’Brien contemplate life as a sailor (MUM SAID BE A SAILOR). Bored of being excluded from the action, they decide to swim to the island and find the treasure for themselves.
Stretching her legs, Jen is captured by Georgie Merry and her cronies. They march her back to Long John Silver, but are furious when they find she no longer has the map. They confront Long John, accusing him of double-crossing, then threaten Jen with a dagger. In the melee, Job Anderson is shot and killed. That night, Jen worries about her safety and wonders whether she should have stayed at home (HOME FEELS FAR AWAY).
The same night, Jen’s allies plan her rescue, worried about being outnumbered. Suddenly a wild-looking man, Ben Gunn, appears, offering his help. They accept it gratefully (IF WE WORK TOGETHER).
The following day, the pirates have used Jen’s memory of the map to locate where the treasure is buried. They dig, but instead of a chest, they find the skeleton of a dead sailor and are spooked. Then they hear through the mist the voice of Ben Gunn, whom they thought dead too. Most flee in terror. When Captain Smollett and allies arrive, Long John Silver sees the game is up and seeks to protect Jen from Georgie Merry, who still believes she can find the treasure. Merry is shot by Long John and Jen rescued. Ben Gunn tells everyone that he already has the treasure, and they can all go home a whole lot wealthier (IF YOU FIND A TREASURE MAP – REPRISE).