Melanie McDonagh Melanie McDonagh

Treasure Island is a boys’ book. There’s no need for a feminist twist

When Robert Louis Stevenson wrote Treasure Island he declared triumphantly that if it wasn’t a winner with boys, then he didn’t know what boys were like. And it was indeed the perfect boys’ book; pirates, a map, treasure, a boy hero, black-hearted villains and gore. Perfect. It was, therefore, with mixed feelings that I sat through the National Theatre’s feminist take on Treasure Island last night.

On the bright side, the set was phenomenal, a cavernous structure like a whale’s ribcage enclosing the action, with the ribs descending like some sort of swamp creature.

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