Against Captain’s Orders, National Maritime Museum

Get ready to experience history like never before as you and your family join the crew of HMS Adventure. Meet our fearless curators, don a lifejacket, and step into the heart of the action. Anyone brave enough to get on board will scarcely believe what will happen next. With so much history secured in one museum, so many doorways to other times and other worlds, Against Captain’s Orders promises to be exciting, enlightening, and perhaps a tiny bit dangerous…

As someone who fell in love with Punchdrunk’s The Drowned Man last year I am always keeping an ear out for any mention of their work. So when Against Captains Orders was announced I was pretty excited. My excitement was sadly short-lived when it was also announced that as the show was aimed at children, one would have to be accompanied by a child between the ages of six and twelve in order to attend. Curses and fiddlesticks. Punchdrunk must have realised that there was a huge amount of demand from adults who wanted to see the show too as they then announced special adult only evenings for their keyholders. Sadly for me I am not currently a keyholder and I could not justify forking out £30 to become one on top of the £25 per ticket price tag. Luckily for me though, someone in the Punchdrunk group I’m a member of on Facebook happened to have a spare ticket. Hooray! So that is how I found myself hot footing it to Greenwich after work on Thursday to meet a complete stranger with whom to see the show. Isn’t the internet wonderful?

While Against Captain’s Orders is technically a children’s adventure that doesn’t mean that the adults will be bored. Oh no. You’ll become part of the crew just like everyone else and if you get into the spirit of things it’ll be a ruddy good adventure. From the moment you don your lifejacket and meet the rest of your shipmates you’re transported to this other world where anything can happen. As always with Punchdrunk the care and attention that has gone into the sets of ACO is incredibly detailed and I found myself longing for more time to explore my surroundings. The use of space is also very clever with corridors twisting and turning to give a sense of it being much bigger than it is. The storyline is enjoyable enough but I’m sure ten times more exciting through the eyes of a ten-year old. There’s not really a whole lot more I can say without spoiling the adventure but it’s an adventure that you should definitely consider embarking on should you be allowed. I for one am hoping that my niece can visit before the show closes at the end of August simply so that I can see it one more time.

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