Interview with Treasure Island writers Kate Ferguson and Susannah Pearse

Interview with Treasure Island writers Kate Ferguson and Susannah Pearse

We caught up with the writers of our adaptation of Treasure Island the swashbuckling family musical at the Octagon this Christmas.

Kate Ferguson who wrote the book and Susannah Pearse the music and lyrics.

Tell us a little about yourself and what inspired you to want to become a writer:

Susannah: I had amazing drama and music teachers at school who inspired me to not only get involved in lots of school shows, but also write my own! Since then I haven’t really wanted to do anything else.

Kate: I’ve loved theatre for as long as I can remember – I was very lucky that my parents took me to shows from a young age. I tried out every angle – acting, singing, lighting, stage management, producing etc. – before I realised that writing was what I was best at. I wrote short sketches and stories at school, but wrote my first full length show when I was in my 20s and feeling brave!

What do you think it is about the story of Treasure Island that resonates with young audiences today?

We’ve all been told we can’t do something when we really want to and Jim is just the same. She is determined to have an adventure and even though her mum says no at first, she eventually goes and has the time of her life.


What can audiences expect from this version of Treasure Island?

They can expect adventure, excitement, and songs. Also: PIRATES.

Top 3 tips for any young people wanting to pursue a career in writing?

1) Write about what you’re interested in and don’t write what you think what people want to hear.

2) Read everything you can. It’s the best possible education on how to write. Even reading something bad will teach you something.

3) Be prepared to rewrite. And rewrite! Stick with it. If you’re determined enough and you work hard, it will pay off.

Who is your favourite character in Treasure Island and why?

Susannah: I would obviously love to play Jim, because she is so bold and brave and clever. I would also quite like to play the Squire because it would be fun to be that oblivious to the chaos you are causing…

Kate: Long John Silver. He’s the ultimate villain, but nothing about him is straightforward. He is ruthless, but he also saves others’ lives when it counts. Nobody is just one thing, and Silver is a perfect illustration of that.

What would your pirate name be?                                              

Susannah: First Mate Sue The Dreadful

Kate: Cutthroat Kate The Small

Can you describe the show in 3 words?

Funny. Thrilling. PIRATES.

Treasure Island is at the Premier Suite, University of Bolton Stadium from Thu 5 - Sat 28 December - find out more and book tickets