Interview: City Entertainment Group, Pirate’s Rock 2: The Souls of the Lost

February 4, 2020 Donna M Day No comments exist

Pirate’s Rock 2 The Souls of the Lost is a continuation of the swashbuckling story of Pirate’s
Rock, written and directed by Barry Levy. It is being performed at the Hope Street Theatre on 7 and 8 February.

I caught up with Barry to learn more about this family musical and the upcoming performance.

So Pirate’s Rock 2 is a sequel. Catch me up with the original story.

When I first wrote it initially, I actually wrote too many characters and the endpoint was just going to end up being like a flower show if I kept all of them, so I thought there’s got to be a sequel.

Pirate’s Rock 1 has two sets of Pirates: the Outlaw Pirates and the Renegade Pirates. The Outlaw Pirates are a male crew led by Master Finn and the Renegade Pirates are a female crew led by Pirate Grace. On board the ship which is owned by Sir T Lansdale is Wreck, a very young navigator, and Ripp and Pipp, again very young characters, who have just escaped from Sea Hawk Prison and are going in search of their parents. On the island is Princess Sophie who has been captured by Fear and the Dark Angels who work for the Bone Force.

The two pirate crews decide to work together for the first time as they have to use the same ship because there are no other ships available and both of their ships are damaged. So they set sail together, which they’re not overly pleased about. At first it looks like there is going to be a love story but actually towards the end the plot centres around the identity of the leader of the Bone Force. At the very end a dark, hooded figure walks down with the Fear. The Princess is thrown on the ground and the Fear introduces the Bone Force and the big reveal is that it’s Pirate Finn Roberts. So he has turned his back on his band of Pirates, well effectively both bands of Pirates, and that’s how we left the first Pirate’s Rock.

At the beginning of Pirate’s Rock 2 there is a catch up voiced by Peter Sebastian. It is a continuation from the first one but at the same time there is the introduction of a few new characters so it works as a standalone show as well.

Do you have lots of cast members from the original show returning?

Probably about six returning. There’s a few new actors taken over some parts from the original, just due to availability.

This is a family musical adventure. What can we expect? Songs the kids can singalong to?

Well you’ve got songs from Pink, Mika, Olly Murs, Jason Mraz, so there is a bit of a mixture. There’s a song from The Jungle Book as well. It’s a strong set of well known music with singing and dancing.

The show focuses on the battle between good and evil and the uncovering of lots of secrets. Are there lots of surprises in store?

There are a few twists and a really big twist towards the end which I’m really happy about.

Is this the end of the story, or are there plans for a Pirate’s Rock 3?

There won’t be a Pirate’s Rock 3, but there might be a different story in the same universe.

City Entertainment Group are a Liverpool based community theatre and film group. Are you influenced by other Liverpool based companies? Do you think Liverpool is an interesting city to participate in theatre and film?

It’s really vibrant at the moment. There’s so many theatre groups and theatre companies around. Likeminded Productions, Brian Mansys, I get on with them really well. Likeminded are really nice people but my philosophy is we concentrate on what we’re doing over everything. But I absolutely respect the other theatre companies.

You have an exciting year ahead with Pirate’s Rock 2 being followed by adult comedy adventure, Bow and Arrow: The Outlaws of Sherwood in June and Destiny, a sci-fi pantomime based on Jack and the Beanstalk in December. You’re also beginning filming your drama Warnock this summer. Can you tell me more about these future projects? What else lies in the future for you and City Entertainment Group?

Bow and Arrow, I thought I’ve got to do something that’s completely different to Pirate’s Rock. It’s a difficult market, but if we can attract the 18-35 demographic it’ll set us up for the next five to ten years. Some of our actors bring friends who are not the usual type of theatre goers but they’ve really enjoyed our shows and I think what can I write for that market. I wrote a pantomime when I was about eighteen called The Son of Robin Hood and there were two comedy characters in that that went down really well. At 2am one morning Bow and Arrow just popped into my head so that must have been in the back of my mind for years. I’ve lost that script since that was twenty years ago and it was on a floppy disk!

Bow and Arrow is an adult show with a backstory about self-growth and empowerment. It’s  not just a silly for the sake of being silly pantomime and it’s a bit of an adventure story as well. We’ve got a week off after Pirate’s Rock 2 and then we’re straight onto that. If it goes well, I think it has potential to tour as well.

Destiny a sci-fi pantomime based on Jack on the Beanstalk. Jack’s been up the beanstalk and become wealthy but he’s also become arrogant and he’s gone down a bit of dark road. Destiny is in the future and features science experiment similar to the one in Quantum Leap. It’s a family show which I think is important to do after Bow and Arrow.

We had a meeting about the Warnock film last week and Rachel Crawley is going to direct it for us.

What piece of advice would you give to someone wanting to write and produce a new play?

Just don’t be over phased by it. Write down ideas. There are apps where you can write down ideas if you prefer that to pen and paper. Just go for it. There’s a few people who say they want to write a script, but just do it and let the ideas flow and it will come. Like with anything it’s momentum. Once you start writing it’s like magic and it just happens and if I can do it, well, it’s not easy, but it’s not impossible.

You can find out more about City Entertainment Group on their website and Instagram.

You can buy tickets for Pirate’s Rock 2 here.

Please let me know if you see the show and what you think of it. I will be reviewing the show over the weekend so you can read my thoughts on it soon.

Break a leg to everyone involved in Pirate’s Rock 2!

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