Pansexual Pregnant Piracy Review

Soho Theatre, Dean Street – until 13 April 2024

Reviewed by Claire Roderick


Airlock’s boisterously funny version of the story of pirates Anne Boony and Mary Read takes you for a jolly rogering jaunt on the high seas that is as rib-tickling as it is swashbuckling.

Unimpressed with the limited prospects for an eighteenth-century woman, Anne (Ro Suppa) finds freedom disguised as a man onboard Calico Jack’s (Eleanor Colville) ship. Taking to the life of a pirate like a fish to water, Anne becomes Jack’s lover and is happy in her life of adventure, keeping one step ahead of the dastardly Pirate Hunter General. When a sea battle with rival pirates leads to Mary Read (Elizabeth Chu) climbing on board, Anne embraces pansexual piracy… until the third P from the title throws a spanner (cutlass?) in the works and hard choices must be made while trying to avoid the clutches of the PHG with the help of ship’s “parrot” Ivana Cracker (Robbie Taylor Hunt, who also directs) – who desperately and hilariously tries to insert himself as a main protagonist throughout the show.

It’s all slightly unhinged and has a brilliantly ramshackle atmosphere, best summed up by the epic sea battle between two cardboard ships complete with flying cannonball and giant dolphin wielding a pistol. Colville, Suppa and Hunt have created a queer extravaganza that embraces the filthy best of panto, bedroom farce (a wonderful shipboard version of the lovers being shoved behind doors skit) and cabaret.

The cast seem to be having a blast, and bounce of each other, and the audience, wonderfully. Robbie Taylor Hunt steals the scene as Ivana Cracker whenever he appears, Eleanor Colville is a fantastically louche Jack, Elizabeth Shu is a hoot as Mary, and Ro Suppa gleefully portrays the frustrations and passions of Anne in a winning performance celebrating Anne’s refusal to conform to expectations and sail her own course.

The musical numbers are fun and upbeat, and the birth of Anne’s baby has to be seen to be believed – completely bonkers! Pansexual Pregnant Piracy is an absolute blast – brilliant fun.