Pirates Versus Mermaids

Avast ye! Why are pirates great singers? Because they can hit the high C’s! Or is it because they have got their hands on a fabulous new whole-school musical from Out of the Ark called Pirates Versus Mermaids? I think it might be the latter me Hearties.

This is a fun-filled resource through and through and is destined to be a firm favourite with anyone studying a pirate theme but especially for Key Stage 1 or lower KS2. This cracking musical centres on Me Hearty High School, the most illustrious pirate school on the seven seas where the apprentice pirates can’t wait to graduate and become proper pirates. The problem is though, none of the pirates to be can swim which means failing their ‘Arr levels’. The answer to this lies with the mermaids but pirates do not like these aquatic creatures and vice versa. Can they get along? Join Captain Scarypants on a rumbustious adventure with his torrent of pirates, a famished crocodile, a gossip of gutsy mermaids and a bonkers parrot. 

There are two ways to buy this resource. One is to purchase the book and audio CD and the other is the book, audio CD and Words on Screen™ CD ROM. The Teachers Book provides the script, the piano music and lyrics along with a character list, handy notes on staging as well as pointers for costumes and props. The accompanying audio CD contains all the vocal tracks beautifully sung by children, professional backing tracks and curtain-call tracks. The Words on Screen™ CD ROM is even better because it provides interactive whiteboard lyrics which are synchronised with the vocal and backing tracks. There are also reference sheet guides, a printable read only script and song lyrics. I think the extra pieces of eight are well worth finding for the Words on Screen™ CD because children can see the words highlighted as they are sung. This also works well for audience participation when performing as a whole school production as you can get mums and dads involved in the singing when they come to watch. 

I loved the music. The songs were fresh, catchy and expertly put together and the script was just a hoot giving everyone a chance to shine, sparkle and swagger. All the songs look great fun to perform especially We Don’t Like Mermaids, Avast! Ahoy! and a solo star turn called I’m A Parrott. The script is very creatively written with everything done on a plate for you. It’s a shipshape production and swashbuckling fun from start to finish so the good folks responsible deserve to splice the mainbrace.

Why are pirates called pirates? They just arrrrgh! If anything, this musical is just begging for corny pirate jokes to be scattered throughout and there’s nothing stopping you from doing that even though the script is already full of laughs. At approximately 40 minutes long you could perhaps squeeze in a couple of extra bits and preparing for the musical could easily inspire some literacy lessons focused on script-writing, joke telling and characterisation not to mention the plethora of other piraty activities you could do.

If I was doing a topic on Pirates then I’d make this the star of my end of topic review and hold an assembly or musical evening for parents and get everyone dressing up in the process. Keep calm and say ‘Arrrgh’, this resource is a thigh-thumping hit and is bound to be a hit with parents whilst giving children a chance to showcase their talents.

Visit the website for sample songs and sample script to see if this resource is for you and your landlubbers. ‘X’ marks the spot.

Our Verdict

Let the children loose on this

End-of-term productions or productions at any time of the year can be very stressful and exhausting but they don’t have to be unless you are hell-bent on reinventing the wheel. This production can creatively find its natural place within your pirate project without wasting valuable curriculum time but becoming an integral part of it. And don’t worry, you don’t need to be Gordon Shakespeare from the Nativity films either! Let the children loose on this and witness everyone have fun whilst improving their musical talents and performance skills. At just £22.95 or £39.95 this musical is a treasure chest which is just waiting for you to find the X and dig it up.

Pie Corbett