Tuesday, 19 January 2021


Captain Festus McBoyle’s incredibly funny variety show

A contribution by 17-year-old Whitianga resident, Cara Bosman

After sailing for the last 32 years on his ship, the Black Blister, Captain Festus McBoyle made a special stop at the Whitianga Town Hall last Friday to put on his incredibly funny variety show. I was lucky enough to be part of the first of the day’s two performances. In the audience I saw many familiar faces, dressed-up pirates and smiles.

It was a show full of energy and many catchy songs.

Captain Festus introduced himself in the first song and sang with his crew of two about what a pirate’s life is like.

In one of the acts that followed, the captain asked the children in the audience about the games they like playing. He then taught everyone a game of his own called “pirate limbo.” Like regular limbo you have a stick or string that you have to manoeuvre under and aim to get as low as you can. Except in pirate limbo there are three additional rules - you have to put your finger on your nose, shuffle on your toes and yell, “There she blows!”

In another act, the captain told everyone a story about the importance of brushing your teeth. He said that whenever he arrives in a new town, he always realises the exact same thing - people are alarmed about the state of his teeth. He and his crew then sang a song called “Gums.” Captain Festus expressed in the song how he wished that he could just live off sweets and sugary things like chocolate, ice-cream and cupcakes, but all his teeth would fall out and he would only have gums left.

The captain also shocked everyone when he revealed that being a pirate is not as glamourous as it seems. Sometimes after being out at sea for days at a time, he and his crew wake up and realise that they have no food left. A song about making bug stew followed. It involved collecting all the crazy critters found on their ship and boiling them up.

Magic tricks featured too. The captain asked the audience to close their eyes and then open them. “Did I disappear?” he asked. He also tried getting a baby parrot to fly out of a paper bag, but ended up with an explosion of feathers instead. The audience figured out soon enough that the captain is better at telling jokes and being a pirate than he is at being a magician.

And, of course, Captain Festus couldn’t resist involving his treasure chest in the performance. He dug into it and the best he managed to pull out were some fake bones. He attempted convince the audience that they were magic bones by making them dance. An auction of the bones followed, but none of the kids wanted to buy them. The captain tried to hide his embarrassment by telling the children their pocket money wasn’t quite enough to buy his treasures.

We got to vote on one of the last songs, either about a monkey or a dog. The votes were split so equally that the captain and his crew decided to sing about a cat instead.

The final song was a marching song. It got all the kids up the front and marching along to the music. There were parts where they had to shake their feet, elbows and arms. They were clearly having a lot of fun.

The show was a great way to spend some time on a rainy Friday morning. Thank you to the Mercury Bay Business Association and sponsors Espy Café, Kate Cash of Ray White Real Estate Whitianga, En Pointe Dance Studio, Van de Ven Builders, The Informer, Peninsula Concrete Pumping, Sovereign Pier on the Waterways, the Mercury Bay Game Fishing Club and Whitianga Water Cartage for bringing Captain Festus McBoyle to Whitianga. Who knows, the captain may sail the Black Blister to our shores one day again. When he does, make sure you don’t miss him and his crew performing. From beginning to end, you will enjoy every moment of what they have to dish up - bug stew and all.

Pictured: Captain Festus McBoyle and his crew with some dressed-up pirates on Friday last week - Chloe Jones (back, on the left), Mike Carter (back, third from the left), Sophie Belsham(front, on the left), Awa Lofley (front, in the centre) and Mia Jones (front, on the right).


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