Pirates Adventure is a popular add-on for holidaymakers in Majorca. Tom Parry takes in the swashbuckling spectacular on a fam trip with Attraction World.
I’d like to see Johnny Depp try that,” I laugh, as Blackbeard, one of history’s most feared pirates, lands a perfect backflip inches away from my face.
I watch on, cheering louder than the packed audience of captivated kids, as the bad boy buccaneer and his pirate pals – Sir Francis Drake, Barbarossa, Captain Scarlet and Sir Henry Morgan – confront their dastardly foe, Jacques Lafitte, for a final duel.
As swinging swords glint under the stage lights it makes for an enthralling ending to one of Majorca’s signature attractions: Pirates Adventure.
In recent times Depp’s Jack Sparrow and his special effects-laden antics may have led the public to believe pirates only belong on the silver screen on far-flung Caribbean islands.
But in less than two riveting hours, the Magaluf-based show proves there’s a shorter-haul alternative.
I’ve journeyed across the seven seas (well, from Birmingham in fact) with Attraction World and 30 agents to the Spanish hotspot as part of the ticket specialist’s first fam trip to Majorca, to sample its attractions and top nights out.
Stepping in from the Balearic sun, we venture inside the cavernous Pirates theatre. With its cove-like decor and stage – centred around a 12 metre-high galleon that looks capable of sailing away – the show’s attention to detail wouldn’t feel out of place in London’s West End.
We’re seated near the stage on Main Deck – one of four options available, with packages featuring perks such as fast-track entry, the chance to mingle with the cast pre-show and pirate-themed goodies for kids.
Pirates Adventure has entertained audiences in its current form for 32 years, with Attraction World selling it to UK agents for 20 of those with its pre-departure rates cheaper than those in-resort.
Shows run around four times a week from April until October, with high season between July 1 and August 31.
Think Cirque du Soleil does Pirates of Penzance on steroids; the show is a concoction of drama, comedy and stunts performed by a cast of Olympic, World and European champion gymnasts and acrobats.
My personal favourite is the physics-defying “drunken sailors”, who fling themselves from a high ledge above the galleon on to trampolines hidden below its decks.
“It’s definitely one of our top 10 European attractions,” Nicky Yates, business development manager – North, tells me as we whoop our way through act after act. “It is very popular both with agents and customers.”
A 6pm start time, an easy to follow storyline and plenty of audience interaction helps the show to forge a family-friendly appeal.
Similar to a classic panto, each area of the theatre is designated one of the characters as their “captain” for the evening – we’ve been corralled on to Blackbeard’s crew tonight – with the audience encouraged to cheer on their pirate’s acts of heroism.
The show’s creation is as rich a story as its own plot, having been dreamt up by hotelier Jacques Sasson as a bedtime story for his daughter Catherine, now the chief executive of Pirates’ parent company, Globo Balear Entertainment Group.
After the yarn wowed Catherine, Sasson began to spin it wider, staging the show to entertain guests at his Benidorm hotel in the evenings, which in turn developed into the modern day set-up.
Despite the high stakes adventure, there is plenty of buccaneer banter – courtesy of the show’s compere Lord Mellion.
At times walking the narrowest plank between family-friendly material and debauched japes (we are in Magaluf after all), the bewigged and powdered charlatan makes me choke on my flagon of Pirate’s Punch, Sangria to you and me.
Luckily my refreshment is part of an unlimited drinks package, available to all ticket types, all evening, along with a traditional set menu.
With Lafitte defeated and my thirst for adventure – and Sangria – quenched, we head out for a popular Pirates Adventure tradition – post-show selfies with the cast.
Yates beams as we gather round a fierce-looking Blackbeard, still very much in character.
“Everybody wants that night to remember on holiday and Pirates never disappoints,” she says.
Book it: Pirates Adventure main deck seating costs from £47 per adult and £29 per child aged 2-12. attractionworld.com