Pirates and heroes battle it out as they vie to be first to find the treasure during this year’s pantomime “Treasure Island,” which opened on Dec. 8 at U.P.’s Cineplex. (Photo: DANA KAMPA)

This year’s Christmas pantomime took audiences on a swashbuckling adventure based off Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic novel Treasure Island.

The storyline pits the intrepid Jim Hawkins, played by Bria Smith, and his friends against the blood-thirsty pirate leader Long John Silver, played by Adrian Francis.

The drama-turned-interactive-comedy took zany twists and turns per the tradition of British pantomime. Performances took place Dec. 8 through Dec. 10 at U.P.’s Cineplex, offering an intimate setting for viewers to emphatically boo the nefarious plans of Long John Silver or attempt to dodge the fire from water guns during a fight between the mutinous pirates and the protagonists.

Leading the heroes’ efforts to find the hidden treasure was Jim’s mother, played by Matthew Van Nierop, who turned over a new leaf from his role as the main antagonist Jafar in last year’s performance of “Aladdin.”

The drama-turned-interactive-comedy took zany twists and turns per the tradition of British pantomime. (Photo: DANA KAMPA)

Like last year’s show, “Treasure Island” featured several musical numbers, including Beyoncé’s “Run the World (Girls),” which was danced to by the members of a VI women’s association — who later decided to turn pirate as well. The three rival parties come to a head as they disembarked the Willy T, each hoping to be the first to find the treasure trove.

Pantomimes in VI

Director Claudia Knight, who owns BVI Arts Company Killi Killi, said she has enjoyed bringing pantomimes to audiences in the Virgin Islands.

“The joy in it is the opportunity to create art for and with you guys,” Ms. Knight said. “Theatre is my absolute passion, and having the opportunity to bring quality live shows to the BVI has been my dream for a long time. We are now able to do so, in such style.”

Coming up next month, the company will hold auditions for a small-scale comedy touring group, and dates are soon to be set for auditions for shows in Virgin Gorda.

Youth theatre

The company’s youth theatre is also slated to present the gangster comedy “Bugsy Malone” in March.

For more information, contact Ms. Knight at 344-2277.