Theatre The Theatre 2 hours 30 minutes


When a mysterious old sea dog arrives at the door of the Admiral Benbow Inn, little does the innkeeper’s granddaughter, Jim, realise how much her world is about to change. What dark secrets is this stranger hiding in his chest? Filled with swashbuckling pirates, squawking parrots and sparkling pieces-of-eight, Robert Louis Stevenson’s classic tale is brought to thrilling life by graduating students from the Arts University Bournemouth, in Bryony Lavery’s brilliant new adaptation.

Five Things You May Not Know About Treasure Island

  1. By another name

The story was conceived by Robert Louis Stevenson as The Sea Cook: A Story for Boys and was first published in serial form as Treasure Island or the Mutiny of the Hispaniola in the children’s magazine Young Folks over 17 weeks in 1881 and 1882 credited to ‘Captain George North’. It first appeared in book form as Treasure Island on 14 November 1883.

  1. Thanks, Dad!

Having thought of the story Stevenson got off to a flying start and completed 15 chapters in as many days before illness interrupted him. He had been staying with family in a cottage in Braemar where his father suggested the scene of Jim in the apple barrel and the name ‘Walrus’ for Captain Flint’s ship.

  1. A home by the sea

Robert Louis Stevenson had been sick all his life – it was thought he had tuberculosis – and in search of a home and climate that would be better for his health settled in Bournemouth between 1884 and 1887 during which time he published The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde and Kidnapped. His house in Westbourne was called Skerryvore after Scotland’s tallest lighthouse built by his uncle Alan Stevenson 1838-44.

  1. Ker-ching!

Treasure Island was Robert Louis Stevenson’s first financial and critical success as a writer. Four times Prime Minister William Gladstone was said to be one of its biggest fans.

  1. Lights! Camera! Action!

There have been more than 50 film and TV adaptations of Treasure Island, from a 1917 silent movie to the 2012 mini-series starring Eddie Izzard as Long John Silver. In the 1990 TV movie Jim Hawkins is played by a young Christian Bale who grew up in Bournemouth not far from Stevenson’s home.

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