Image Credit: Anna Kucera

A blend of circus, acrobatics and panto-esque silliness is the best way to describe what you can expect when entering the Studio at the Sydney Opera House for this year’s instalment of the Funatorium caberet. Following the fabulous Mad Hatter’s theme which wowed us last year, we found ourselves down a more nautical “rabbit hole” this time aboard the ship of one Captain James Hook.

The Funatorium: Captain Hook’s Pirate Party introduced the crowd, who were seated according to the various directions a pirate’s compass would point him in from NW to SE, to Hook’s motley crew of seafaring compatriots via an interactive and immersive experience directed by Mike Finch (Circus Oz) based on J.M. Barrie’s family classic, Peter Pan and Wendy.

Bloody Nora was first up to display her unique skill set which involved a huge wheel and some pretty impressive shows of strength, balance and flexibility. Tootles, the ship’s navigator and a former Lost Boy (note the irony), revealed an aptitude for juggling including all the knives stored on the ship as well as some other impressive feats. Able-bodied seaman Wendy Darling took on Tootles in a chin-up competition while the comical Polly Parrot was perhaps the highlight for most in attendance, balancing on a tower made of chairs in true cirque du soleil style, performing an aerial display and injecting bursts of comedic entertainment at every opportunity. Not forgetting of course Mr Smee, the poor hard done by right-hand man of the Hook who also elicited laughs from the audience, mainly in his banter and interaction with the captain.

Smee is the dark horse of the 60 minute production, taking on the role of both bespectacled ship aid and winged delight in his dual role of Tinkerbell the fairy, delighting the audience with a jaw dropping aerial and acrobatic display.

Peppered with wit, bouts of song and a cast who never drop character even while the spotlight is shining on a fellow crew-member which transports the audience completely into a life at sea playing cards on deck, filing fingernails with a cutlass and getting involved in the piratical banter that made the experience immensely engaging, endearing and entertaining.

Fun for the whole family, The Funatorium: Captain Hook’s Pirate Party serves up a delicious caberet rich in variety, music and colour. So dress up in your pirate finest and book your tickets now and head for the second star to the right and straight on till morning.

What: The Funatorium presents Captain Hook’s Pirate Party

Where: The Studio, Sydney Opera House

When: 11-27 January 2018

Who: Recommended for ages 4 and up (though my almost 3 year old joined us and loved it albeit the older children are better able to remain engaged throughout the hour long show)

Cost: $39 for standard tickets plus $8.50 booking fee

Running Time: 60 minutes (no intermission)

Facilities: Toilets are located at the entrance of the Western Foyer and just past the Studio but make sure to go before the show.

Getting There: If you’re seeing the show during the week it’s advisable to use public transport as the Opera House is well serviced by ferries, buses and trains via its nearest transport centre Circular Quay. For those seeing the show on the weekend there is a flat rate of $12 when booking online in the Wilson carpark beneath the Opera House, or $15 if paying in person.

Food and Drink: The Junior Lunch is an option for your kids at the Opera Bar or you can bring your own and find a spot by the Harbour or in the neighbouring Royal Botanic Gardens.