Award winning actor, James Hyland, ( https://www.brotherwolf.org.uk ) graced the stage of The Two Sisters Arts Centre once again with his Silver and Gold one man show on Friday 17th March 2023.
The last play, I saw by Hyland (Dracula’s Guest) impressed me so much that I had to see another one as soon as I could, so I was delighted to be there as he once again re-imagined a literary character. This time it was the legendary pirate, Long John Silver from Treasure Island. He did not disappoint with a portrayal of Silver to delight and surprise. James Hyland’s Silver was at great pains to be clear that he was ‘not a pirate’ (and his definition of ‘looting’ as ‘shopping for free’ blurred the lines of morality just enough to convince us that he may have a point…)
Opening with the excellent music – again not your stereotypical pirate sound to the voice – I already knew I would be going home with a ‘yo ho ho’ ear worm which would last for weeks, even without the bottle of rum to prompt me. Building up exactly the right amount of suspense, Hyland’s Silver enters from the back of the theatre and interacts straight away, bringing a colourful character to life with his commanding presence.
What I really enjoy about watching this actor is his intensity – the audience is on the edge of their seats, never quite sure what might happen next. We as audience took the part of the crew, and I really felt as if I was on that ship! Although I wasn’t sure if he really wanted his audience to participate at first, my husband leapt straight in and replied in his best pirate voice. I must admit that later I was very tempted to go right up and help Silver to his chair when he asked.
Hyland brought such emotion and humour to the performance, and I felt a lot of empathy for the ‘gentleman pirate’ who was so mis-represented in ‘that book’. We were thoroughly entertained!
A final highlight after the show was to discover James had read and likes my work. Thank you for the compliment!
I can’t wait for his next performance, and I also look forward to trading places when James Hyland will be in the audience for my upcoming performance.