REVIEW: Pirate School, Get Lost & Found (Arts Depot)

Two years ago we started the munchkins’ theatre habit off with a trip to Arts Depot to see The Gruffalo. Two years to the day we were back at Arts Depot, having been invited to check out their Half Term programme (which includes the Gruffalo once again). This time we plumped for Pirate School, an interactive theatre show for ages 3-9 from Get Lost & Found.

After a perilous journey (due to Mrs Mummy once again underestimating the volume of traffic in and around the Blackwall tunnel), we made it to Arts Depot with minutes to spare and lined up outside the Creation Space with a gang of other scurvy sea dogs. As a trio of pirates came out to inspect their new recruits, Mummy rather belated remembered thinking that she should dress the munchkins in their pirate costumes. But thankfully we passed muster anyway and were invited to join their motley crew. After bedecking their small crew members in pirate paraphernalia, introductions were duly made. Then it was onboard The Soggy Otter where the youngsters were put through their pirate paces while the adults of the audience relaxed on the shore.

Pirate School is something of a hybrid between a show and a children’s party. There are lots of high energy games to keep the children engaged, plus plenty of pantoesque piratey puns aimed at the adults. Early on, the children have the opportunity to share their own pirate jokes, the best of which yesterday included:

“Where do pirates go for lunch?…..The cafe.”

Other highlights of pirate training included a scare-off between the smallest of pirate recruits and excellent use of a window into an office of the Arts Depot to scare an unsuspecting staff member. Duly trained, the petite pirates have to save the day, as it turns out that their superiors aren’t quite as practised in piracy as they led us to believe. With a proper pirate hot on their heels, it’s up to the children to come up with suggestions on how to get themselves out of this pirate predicament. There were plenty of innovative suggestions, ranging from traditional use of cannons through to throwing seaweed. But the most terrifying moment came when Quaver (probably the most angelic looking pirate you will ever come across) offered the deadpan suggestion that they use fire “to burn” their pirate rival. Which they duly did.

If you’re going to go to school during half term, Pirate School is definitely the place to be. It’s energetic, swashbuckling chaos which has the children centre-stage while the adults sit back and watch the fun unfold. A brilliant way to entertain the entire family. No rum required.

Pirate School is at Arts Depot from 22 – 26 October 2019.