Robinson Crusoe & the Pirates Pantomime Script by Alan P Frayn

Funny, original, award-winning pantomime scripts
by Alan P Frayn
“I cannot remember using so many superlatives to describe one show” (The Stage)

“Exceptionally inventive – a panto that has everything!” (Amateur Stage Magazine)
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Robinson Crusoe & the Pirates

Action-packed, original and funny, this exciting new colourful version offers so much more …

For a lively, vibrant and fun-filled production, look no further than this ground-breaking pantomime version of Robinson Crusoe!

Buckle your swash and set sail with Robinson, Captain Seasalt and Nutty Nick into a world of adventure and hilarity.  You’ll meet a host of colourful characters along the way, together with a band of marauding pirates, offering great roles for the Chorus and three principals, Cut-Throat, Cross-Bones and Skull-Duggery.

Staging the opening scene in Brazil (unlike Hull, York or Plymouth in most other scripts) has the advantage of introducing tropical scenery, glitzy costumes and Latin music, not to mention our delicious Dame – Señorita Margarita Juicilita!  It also offers the bonus of an exciting Mardi Gras Finale!

Don't be put off by the old-fashioned nature of other versions – pirates put bums on seats these days – and this is a great choice of pantomime, bound to “float your boat”!

Full cast and scenery requirements are listed below

Many productions of this script have won NODA and drama federation awards, including Leighton Buzzard Drama Group (NODA “Best Pantomime”)!

We also offer a version of this script for schools or youth theatre groups (slightly simplified and with added lines for Chorus members).  For a Reading Copy of this, please select Robinson Crusoe & the Pirates and specify “youth version” in the message box on the order form.

"...This Pirates' pantomime is a real pearl of a panto in Alan P Frayn's Robinson Crusoe & the Pirates, packed full with swashbuckling action, damsels in distress, desert island cannibals and plenty of songs to sing along to.  The characters embark on a journey of madness and mayhem from the plantations of Brazil to the depths of the ocean, on to a desert island and finally back to Brazil in time for Mardi Gras.  The fabulously titled Senorita Margarita Juicilita as the saucy panto dame, her son, Nutty Nick, and the dim-witted pirates, Cross-Bones and Skull-Duggery, helped to make the show a pantomime treat for all the family!"  (Felixstowe News)
robinson crusoe and the pirates
LIDOS, Leeds
robinson crusoe and the pirates
Kennington ADS © Martin Barron
EXCERPT from Act I Scene 2: On the Way to the Port © Alan P Frayn
CUT-THROAT: Yes, I think these two idiots will do nicely.  (Calling to them:) It’s Skull‑Duggery and Cross‑Bones, ain’t it?
C-BONES: That’s us!
CUT-THROAT: (To Skull-Duggery) I heard you’ve been living in Norway since leaving your last ship.
SKULL-D: No, I’ve been living in a doorway!  (He rolls his eyes.)
CUT-THROAT: (To Cross-Bones) And I hears you’ve been working in Thailand.
C-BONES: No, Toyland! … And before that I was a bouncer at Mothercare!
CUT-THROAT: (To Skull-Duggery) What happened to your leg?
SKULL-D: I went to audition for the pantomime at ….. [local theatre or rival society]
CUT-THROAT: Did you have an accident on stage?
SKULL-D: No, I set my heart on playing Long John Silver, so I had my leg off!
CUT-THROAT: And did you get the part?
SKULL-D: No – they were doing Cinderella!
C-BONES: And I’m having my arm off next week.
CUT-THROAT: Why’s that?
C-BONES: I’m planning to sail round the world single-handed!
SKULL-D: (Pointing out Cut-Throat’s hook) Looks like you’ve beaten him to it!
CUT-THROAT: No, someone was a bit careless with a cutlass!
C-BONES: How about your eye?
CUT-THROAT: A seagull flew over and plopped in it.
SKULL-D: You can’t lose an eye like that.
CUT-THROAT: I did!  It was me first day with the ‘ook! 
(He demonstrates how he did it and the OTHER 2 react squeamishly.)
C-BONES: If you’ve had an accident at work, you wanna call Claims Direct! … But it might cost you an arm and a leg! … Oh, you two must have already done it!
(CUT-THROAT looks around, beckons them to come closer and speaks furtively:)
CUT-THROAT: Listen, I am the leader of a treacherous band of dishonest money-grabbers.
SKULL-D: You’re not in charge of the EU, are you?  [Or name topical politician]
CUT-THROAT: Not that dishonest! … We’re looking for two new buccaneers.  How about it?
C-BONES: We’re not working for a bully like you!
SKULL-D: No, go on – sling yer ‘ook!  (He looks at Cut-Throat’s hook.)  Oops, sorry! 
CUT-THROAT: Just a minute – what are you earning at the moment?
OTHER 2: (Both count up on their fingers as if adding up a large sum.) Nothing!
CUT-THROAT: I’ll pay you five times that!
C-BONES: (Excitedly) Now you’re talking!  We’re gonna be rich!
SKULL-D: And what ship are we sailing on?
CUT-THROAT: Any ship we fancy!  We’re pirates, ain’t we?
ROBINSON CRUSOE: Adventurous, plucky young man. (Can either be played by male, or female as Principal Boy)
Pantomime Dame, now lives in Brazil. (Obviously, best played by a man)
NUTTY NICK: Margarita’s daft son. (Ideally male, but could be played by female)
CAPTAIN SEASALT: British merchant trader. (Male)
JUANITA: The Captain’s daughter. (Principal Girl)
CUT-THROAT: Ruthless, bloodthirsty buccaneer. (Male)
Our 2 comedy pirates, typical panto-style comedy twosome. (Either can be male or female)
FRIDAY: Enthusiastic youth who speaks perfect English. (Probably male, but could be played by female)
HOCUS POCUS: Witch Doctor. (Male or female – smaller part)
MUMBO JUMBO: The Cannibal Queen. (Female – smaller part)
SPIRIT OF THE SEAS: Nautical-themed fairy. (Female)
DAVY JONES: Underwater baddie. (Male – smaller part)
POLL: Robinson’s costume character parrot. (Can be male or female inside the costume)
CHORUS: Brazilians
Sailors / Pirates
Sea Sprites
Tropical Natives
DANCERS: Featured in musical numbers as desired.  Also perform the optional ultra-violet scene.
Scenes  (Notes on simplified scenery are also included in the script)
Prologue: Who Rules the Waves? (Front cloth or front of Tabs)
Scene 1 : Brazilian Beginnings (Full stage exterior scene)
Scene 2 : On the Way to the Port (Front of Tabs or front cloth)
Scene 3 : The Port of Rio (Full stage exterior scene)
Scene 4 : In the Galley (Half-stage with front cloth or MS Tabs)
Scene 5 : All At Sea (Full stage ship’s deck scene)
Scene 6 : [Optional] Under the Sea (MS black Tabs – UV scene)
Scene 7 : Davy Jones’ Domain (Full stage undersea scene)
Scene 1 : The Island of Mumbo Jumbo (Full stage tropical scene)
Scene 2 : Robinson’s Desert Island (Half-stage scene)
Scene 3 : On the Way to the Stone Idol (Front of Tabs or front cloth)
Scene 4 : Idol Talk (Full stage exterior scene with Idol)
Scene 5 : Song of the Seas (Front of Tabs or front cloth)
Scene 6 : Mardi Gras Carnival (As Act I Scene 1, plus carnival dressing)
Note re Staging:

It is possible to avoid one full stage set, playing Act I Scenes 1, 2 and 3 on the set for Act I Scene 3.  

"…Although the occasional script turns up based on the Daniel Defoe story, Robinson Crusoe tends to be one of the more neglected subjects.  But as the author rightly reminds us – in an introduction that is a veritable cornucopia of staging and casting information – it has a strong swashbuckling storyline with all the makings of an exciting and modern production, second to none!

Reading his script for the first time is a joy with so much imagination and inventive “theatrical licence” which virtually guarantees, with a fair wind, a smash hit success with children and adults alike.  It is all so refreshing and totally lacking in that retro world which can often bog down the more old fashioned pantomimes in a quagmire of tradition, which sometimes needs “geeing up”.

It is so inventive – it doesn’t start off in one of the traditional Scene 1 settings of Plymouth, Port of Hull or York but – wait for it – Brazil!  This, he points out, has the advantage of introducing more vibrant and exotic scenery, costumes and musical numbers than the bog standard old trad pantomime.  And it is more in line with the original classic novel, as it was after settling in Brazil that Robinson set sail on that fateful voyage!

He is also quick to point out, early in his introduction, that using this same setting for the finale and walk down gives the director and choreographer the opportunity to create a great Mardi Gras finale.

I don’t want to give it all away in a short review.  Mr Frayn has written four packed pages of a preface which takes the would-be director through all the steps which give him or her one of the most enjoyable and novel pantomimes in an exciting modern structure, which loses nothing of the underlying great pantomime tradition.

It would be a pity not to read it if you are looking for that extra element of a strong exciting story coupled with quite exotic settings and costumes – all of which can be geared to fit the financial parameters or every size of company."


“…Being a grown-up, I don’t think I’ve laughed as much watching panto in a long while. And I think it may have something to do with its zany array of characters. It might not be a fairytale as such, but with brave hero Robinson, fair damsel Juanita and wicked villain, the pirate Cut-Throat, it’s got all the ingredients for a magical show, perfect to brighten up those January blues. And who can forget the outrageous pantomime dame, whose name alone is worth a mention – Margarita Juicilita. But my favourite was the comedy duo, Skull-Duggery and Cross-Bones , two bungling pirates as dopey as they are mean. With its quick one-liners, it’s a fun-filled night for all the family.”

Leighton Buzzard Observer


“…My on-going issue with amateur pantomime is (and has always been) the quality of the scripts. They just never seem to be funny, often containing virtually no scripted gags with all the humour coming visually or from slapstick and ad-lib, frequently conceived and delivered on the hoof. To be honest, it is just not enough. I can triumphantly report that this was a notable exception. A brilliant script by Alan Frayn which was indeed slapped thigh deep in quality pantomime gags accessorised with some sixteen or so relevant songs, all combining to create an evening where I laughed till I cried! No pun was left unturned as they rattled their way through dozens of jokes, a wide selection of visual gags and some excellent audience participation. Pure genius, pure Pantomime!”

NODA Report

Dereham Operatic Society

"...Alan Frayn's Robinson Crusoe is one of the most exciting pantomime scripts currently available - a new version of the traditional tale with the spectacle and excitement of a South American start and finish. With fun and frolics at every turn, Alan Frayn's formula for success continues. At our first reading, group members were crying with laughter and our audiences simply loved it, hailing the panto as our best yet in 26 years. Great story; great characters; great panto! Keep them coming, Alan!"

Stone Little Theatre


“...The crowd buzzed with anticipation and they were not to be disappointed. The show started off at 100 miles per hour and never let up! What’s not to like? This was a visual treat and it was funny! Jam-packed with great panto gags – and included all the traditional elements we know and love including slapstick, knockabout and lots of audience participation. It had a large cast including many smaller roles which gives lots of opportunity for members. Musically, this was a great choice of script because it opened the door to all sorts of evocative songs about Brazil, pirates, seafaring and desert islands! This show was energetic, colourful and vibrant and the audience absolutely loved it! And that, my friends, is what pantomime is all about!!”

SFD Spotlight Magazine

Wayfarers Pantomime Society

"...I am a great fan of Alan Frayn panto scripts. They are well written with great humour that appeals to all age groups and have lots to keep an audience engaged. This is one of his less well known scripts but has just enough bizarre elements to provide the belly laughs when required."

NODA Report

Brixham OADS

"...Based on an original script by Alan P Frayn, this production of Robinson Crusoe and the Pirates by the Polegate Drama Group was pantomime at its finest."

Eastbourne Herald


"...When we did your version of Robinson Crusoe & the Pirates, we were still helpless with laughter in rehearsal, even when we had seen it at least ten times! It was our first venture into pantomime and it proved very popular with local people. Those of us who live in and around Tadcaster were having people coming up to us in the street weeks later, telling us how much they had enjoyed it.”

Tadcaster Theatre Company


“...The script by Alan P Frayn had a freshness about it. There were gags galore bringing plenty of laughter from the appreciative audience. A most entertaining evening!”

NODA Report

Lyndsey Rural Players

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