Two pirates marooned in the present day must navigate their way through a new and confusing world of contemporary adulthood. Where is the code of honour that unified them in the past?
Once Were Pirates is a coming-of-age story for adults and a laugh-out-loud buddy comedy buoyed by its script. It has an undercurrent that explores traditional masculinity, friendship, fear, entitlement and migration. David McVicar’s production is presented in-a-round of sorts. And there's something of a Shakespearean comic tragedy to Emilie Collyer’s writing. This adaptation also includes original music by local performer Kyron Weetra, though it is not completely integrated into the work.
Weetra as Shane and Joshua Mensch as Gareth are an entertaining odd-couple. Yet their boisterous performance lacks the light and shade to highlight the depth of Collyer’s work. An intimate room with stripped-back staging keeps the audience close. But, sadly it leaves little breathing room for the actors or the script.