Fringe Q&A: Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs: The Magic Cutlass


Captain Flinn is ready for an adventure! Les Petits return to the high seas after their hugely successful shows David Walliams’ The First Hippo on the Moon and Adventures in Wonderland. Join Flinn as he attempts to rescue his kidnapped friends who have been forced to hunt for the Magic Cutlass by his nemesis, the tyrannical Mr T-Rex. The children are whisked away for another fantastic adventure to a world of devious dinosaurs, deep-sea dangers and smelly sausages. Based on the best-selling books by Giles Andreae and Russell Ayto.

AAA caught up with James Seager – co-Artistic Director of Les Petits and Les Enfants Terribles…

Is this your first time at the Fringe?

No – I’m a bit of a veteran as this is our 18th Edinburgh! Les Enfants Terribles’ first show was back in 2002, but our kids company Les Petits first came to the Fringe in 2013.

Tell us a bit about the show you’re in this year?

We’re bringing Captain Flinn and the Pirate Dinosaurs: The Magic Cutlass in an attempt to be the longest title at the Fringe! Although knowing Edinburgh I am sure there is something longer – but I doubt sillier, funnier and more fun. The show is based on a popular kids book and cartoon, and follows the intrepid adventures of three brave kids as they journey to a
lost land where dinosaur pirates rule the seven seas … obviously!

We did the show at the Fringe back in 2016 and it went down very well, so we thought it was high tide (pun there) that we bought it back. The puppets are crazy (there’s a 7 foot T-Rex) the songs are catchy and the action comes thick and fast – it really is a blast to watch and to be a part of. I’m always keen to say that the show is equally appealing to adults as well as children and genuinely a good piece of theatre.

How much work went into getting it ready for Edinburgh?

Preparing for Edinburgh requires a lot of work and thought. Even if it is your 18th year you cannot underestimate it, think you’ve got it sewn up or figured out. There are constant surprises, changes and challenges that happen year on year, so you have to put the prep in or your life will be a lot harder when you arrive. Captain Flinn has had three UK tours – but we still put in the work to make sure it’s the best it can be and improve from show to show, so that requires a lot of planning, thought and work. This incarnation will have a new cast and a few script changes … we’ve just finished that process so it’s all getting very exciting.

There’s thousands of shows on – why should Fringe-goers fork out to see yours?

It’s got dinosaurs. And pirates. And dinosaurs who are also pirates. What’s not to like? Adults will laugh and enjoy this just as much as kids – so I want everyone to come along. The puppets are made by the incredible Max Humphries and are a sight to behold, the songs are funny and catchy and the whole thing will leave you smiling from ear to ear – a perfect way to start the day! We’re in Pleasance One at 10.45am – so bring your orange juice, your kid (if you have one) and your croissant!

Are there any other shows on this year you’d recommend?

Perhaps Contraption’s Nearly Human at The Pleasance. One Duck Down by Faceplant Theatre is another brilliant kids’ show, and I’d also recommend Wildcard’s Electrolyte and Ricky Riddlegang and Riddle Gang.

What’s on your hit-list to see?

I want to see some good comedy, and also some circus that I’ve not seen before. Aside from the above, I’ll always go to the Traverse as their programme is fantastic.

What are you planning to do on your days off?

The festival is very full on, so I always recommend getting out of the city and away from the madness to get some well-earned peace and quiet! If it’s too far to get to the countryside then Leith is nice, and if I can’t go that far then a walk up Arthur’s Seat is a good relaxation escape.

Sell your show in no more than ten words….

A 7ft tall singing, dancing, roaring, scary Pirate T-Rex, people!

Pleasance Courtyard, 10.45am, until 26 August, www.edfringe.com

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