Review: Pan’s Outcasts (Pirate Life)

Photo for Pan's Outcasts

A Pirate adventure on the open waters sure to please grown-ups and older children

Pan’s Outcasts, is produced by Pirate Life and The Pirate Life venue is a swashbuckling, family-friendly good time on a real ship. Pirate Life is a company that puts on plays, pirate-related games, and private events. Pan’s Outcasts is still a work-in-progress and is having a limited run this weekend.

We landlubbers boarded the boat and were pirated out to sea (i.e. the Lake Ontario harbour) for an hour on the Jolly Roger, Captain Hook’s infamous pirate ship. The ship is licensed so you can enjoy a beer during the production. There is also some pirate merchandise you can purchase with your ticket.

Pan’s Outcasts is a fun take on the Peter Pan story. Three of the lost boys have left Peter Pan because they are worried Pan will abandon them when they grow up. Now they’re taking refuge under Captain Hook’s wing, and helping Hook find and dispose of Peter Pan.

It’s interesting that a play for children looks at the darker side of Neverland, and I really enjoyed the intertextuality. Liam Armstrong (director/ writer) keeps the tone light, throws in some jokes that adults can appreciate, and sends the story sailing along smoothly.

Long Shanks (Ally Caruso) does an especially good job drawing the audience in with silliness and whimsy. Smee (Rielle Ritchie) keeps the comedy going, even during some tense moments.

I was surprised that the play wasn’t more interactive, and I did feel many of the younger audience members were getting distracted. Most of the children in the audience were under 5, but I think this play is more suited to children around 7 or 8 years old because the production is narrative-heavy.

I brought my dad with me to this production. He felt that the playful parts were the best, but some of the plot explanations ran a bit long and probably went over some of the children’s heads.

I was happy to see that this is a very LGBTQ-friendly production. The washrooms are gender-neutral, characters are often referred to by gender-neutral pronouns, and the Jolly Roger flies a rainbow flag.

As the play neared its end and the ship turned back around and headed for shore, we got to experience a beautiful sunset over the water. Many of the adult audience members enjoyed snapping photos of the sunset and the Toronto skyline.

My dad and I had a great time on the boat, and I would definitely recommend this to anyone with kids old enough to appreciate it.


    • Pan’s Outcasts is playing until August 25, 2019 at Pirate Life (333 Lake Shore Boulevard East)
    • Shows run , August 23 to August 25 at 7pm, doors at 6:30pm
    • Ticket are $25
    • Tickets are available online, by phone at 416-476-3836, or in person at the box office

Photo provided by the company.

One thought on “Review: Pan’s Outcasts (Pirate Life)”

  1. Funny, witty and entertaining. As adults, we had a great time and really enjoyed the production and the journey. All the actors were fantastic but special thanks to Smee for keeping us safe while delivering deadpan humor. Let’s do it again.

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