The Pirate Show

The Pirate Show


The Pirate Show

XS Entertainment & See Plus Function Centre

See Plus Function Centre

Fridays 18th January – 22nd February


Reviewed by Xanthe Coward


Well, we promised a raucous night of fun, bawdy entertainment and the cast have certainly delivered! As you know, I’m a stand-in for this one (you’ll get me in the mermaid costume when Kelsie can’t be there!), so it’s without bias and instead, with a lot of pride that I can give you the run-down on The Pirate Show.


SUMMER DRINKING GAME: swill yer rum water, yer scurvy sea dog, every time you see the words The Pirate Show


Six years ago, a mate listened to Sam while he described a pirate show that he said he was going to be running at The Wharf, Mooloolaba, on the beautiful Sunshine Coast. Our friends were visiting from Mt Isa, a whole world away – though with Sue Smith’s heavy Australian drama set in a mining community (Strange Attractor) opening this week in Noosa, it’s a place that’s recently come to mind again – and it was no surprise to the Mt Isa friends that we opened The Pirate Show at See Plus Function Centre on Friday night. Running for a limited season of just five more Fridays, this is the show Sam has wanted to stage since first discussing the idea over beers in Buderim.


The Pirate Show is everything it claims to be. Having not seen a single rehearsal, I’m actually surprised that I enjoyed it so much. So is Sam. So is Simon. Simon Denver, that is; director of Strange Attractor and a leading salty sea dog in The Pirate Show. Sam and Simon bounce off each other with the familiarity of long-time sailing buddies and it almost feels like we should be in Mooloolaba Yacht Club, however; in their current state (STILL) they might struggle to deliver what See Plus Function Centre do as a matter of good habit. That is: great ambience in a lovely intimate, air-conditioned space, attentive and friendly staff, and a dinner to die for; in this case, a wonderful seafood platter or, alternatively, a delicious curry for the non-seafood farers.


These guys have established a solid reputation as a class act, specialising in weddings, private parties, fancy lunches and fundraisers, and most recently, fabulous exclusive shopping events, of which I hope we’ll see more! See Plus is a business continually refining what they do, to suit Sunshine Coast locals and visiting clientele.


The Pirate Show works largely because the Sunshine Coast has been literally dying for something just like it!


Despite the rising popularity of at-home parties and dinners (after all, you know there are some pretty phenomenal event specialists and caterers on the coast!), what we’ve been missing is something that is not a football game or a night at Fridays (sorry, Fridays, but not really; I have linked to you, but you lost me some years ago), that caters to the vast majority (some parts of it may offend the minority) and lives up to its promises to amuse and entertain. It’s also an educational show. It is! One of the highlights of the night is a double whammy of trivia questions to test yourself and your salty guests. Book a big table for the staff, your overlapping circles of friends or the whole family and you’ll be amazed by who knows what. Of course there are (quaffable) prizes for the trivia, and also for Best Dressed each night, so make sure you and your shipmates look the part! On opening night the Best Dressed prize went to a table of Pirates of the Caribbean characters. Well deserved!


Simon Denver and Sam Coward carry the show, their high energy and good spirits completely infectious, supported by the hilarious antics of Glen Wiles and Sarah McMahon, each in multiple character roles. Two of the Sunshine Coast’s best-known dancers (and choreographers), Stephanie Fisher and Nina Van der Plas grace us with their gorgeous presence time after time, in a flourish of colour and decadent costumes. Kelsie Rimmer looks and sings the part, as Mermaid, and offers up a pearl; a rendition of Hallelujah, which I first heard her sing live at a makeshift stage by Kawana Lake during the Light the Night festivities a couple of years ago. Since then Kelsie has gone on and beyond The Voice, and most recently with us, recorded a song she wrote for the Sunshine Coast Trails campaign. Kelsie features in the footage, along with local talent, Denise and Paul. Check out the first video here.


The Pirate Show succeeds largely because it demands easy, fun audience participation. Don’t worry, we’ve got nothing on Killer Karaoke, but you’ll certainly be singing. You won’t be able to help yourself! The band – Howie Factor, Darren Heskes and James Allen – who also look like pirates, do a terrific job and from the opening number I remembered what fun it is to be part of a large, singing, smiling, cheering audience! I’m sure it’s due to Simon’s long run in the theatre restaurant scene – his contagious brassy confidence combined with multiple winning elements – that make joining in with the classic popular rock numbers irresistible. Even if you don’t remember all of the words, you’ll chime in on the chorus of Gimme Some Loving, Venus, Crazy Little Thing Called Love, Wild Thing, We Gotta Get Out of this Place and Rock Lobster (like you’ve never heard it before!). It might SHOCK some of you.



The Pirate Show shamelessly throws in your face the bare bones of a narrative and uses a great cast of comical characters and a terrific playlist to keep you on board. The jokes are terrible and they’re terribly funny. Combined with trivia, plonk for prizes, a very decent dinner and the excuse to let your hair down and have a few laughs with friends, family and colleagues, it’s truly a show for everyone to try to get to. But it’s not for the kids. When we say bawdy we mean it! And look, if it doesn’t sound like your preferred brand of humour go anyway… I did and I loved it!


If you’ve been looking for something new to do on the Sunshine Coast this is it!


Call See Plus Function Centre on (07) 5444 5044 (ext 2) to book a table, and enjoy some Friday night fun and entertainment from the same people who are bringing back, by popular demand, A Night With the Mob. That’s right! IT’S FUN STUFF TO DO AFTER DARK BY THE BEACH! Sunshine Coast, it’s what you’ve been waiting for. See you soon at a show!



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