Adventure, exploration, pirates, danger, and yet living a life for Christ, even under the most dire of circumstances. All this and more is to be found in the audio theater production of Under Drake’s Flag. Our family fell in love with this production by Heirloom Audio Productions, a 2-CD set filled with 2 hours of adventure. This story is suggested for ages 6 to adult but our 5 year old listened along with us and enjoyed the adventure. (Please note that there are some scenes that could be scary or frightening to the younger children or children who are sensitive to emotions.)
Before receiving these CDs to review, I had not heard of audio theater. Imagine old time radio with the added clarity of high definition audio and magnificent sound effects, full high-quality acting and interaction of the characters. Imagine a full production movie without the video and you have the quality of Heirloom Audio Productions and their vision for Under Drake’s Flag.
The prayer of Sir Francis Drake begins “Disturb us Lord when we are too well pleased with ourselves…” It goes on to mention dreams being too little, being too settled in what we have, and allowing our vision of Heaven to dim. “Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly…and to push into the future, in strength, courage, hope, and love.” This is a good introduction to the story of these CDs.
This adaptation of G.A. Henty’s story focuses on Ned Hawkshaw and his adventures aboard the ship of Sir Francis Drake, the English explorer, sailor, and privateer. Sir Francis chooses Ned to join him on his ship. As Ned and his new friend Gerald learn the ropes of the ship, they also learn much about the character of Sir Francis and his reliance upon God to guide his actions, even in the toughest of circumstances. Ned and Gerald experience everything they could have imagined with Sir Francis, as well as much more than they ever dreamed. From being sailors to surviving a shipwreck, from fighting off a shark attack to protecting those weaker than themselves, from fierce battles on land and sea to standing before the Spanish Inquisition – Ned and Gerald learn so much more than just how to be a man; they learn how to stand up for God and be a Christian, holding secure their faith even when their lives depend on renouncing it.
Under Drake’s Flag comes with a study guide that can enrich your experiences. The CD is set up to correspond to the units in the study guide. Each unit in the study guide has three parts.
- Listening Well gives you questions about what is heard in the story or what can be remembered. Some of the questions are easier and others are harder, broadening the challenge for different students.
- Thinking Further questions have the students looking deeper into meaning and purposes. They might need to look up words, draw conclusions, or speculate about the choices and actions of one of the characters.
- Defining Words is designed to help enrich vocabulary and deepen understanding.
Additionally, there are three Bible studies in the study guide. Each of the Bible studies covers a concept that is directly applicable to daily life. There are multiple Bible verses used to encourage the students to study the Bible and gather its meaning for themselves.
- Bible Study 1 is on Godly Character.
- Bible Study 2 is on True Manhood.
- Bible Study 3 is on Confessing Christ.
The study guide that is included with the CD is a good length and very useful. However, once you purchase your copy of Under Drake’s Flag, you will have access to a fuller, longer, more comprehensive study guide for download. The 28 page study guide has more questions in each section and encourages even more growth in the listeners. We did not use the study guides formally but I enjoyed looking through them and used some of the questions when we were having discussions about the story. E got the study guide out a couple of times and looked through it on her own. I observed her stopping and closing her eyes, thinking about a question she had read or focusing on one of the words. So, they are easily useable by a 10 year old.
We really enjoyed getting to know Heirloom Audio Productions and Under Drake’s Flag. We listened to it in the car on a road trip. And then, when we got home, E wanted to get it out again and listen to it once more. This one will stick around with us for a while. To purchase your own copy, visit http://www.underdrakesflag.com/buy-now.php. The 2 CD set like we reviewed is $29.95. There are a couple other packages available, as well, if you are looking for gift ideas.
We just heard that they are planning to release a new audio drama this fall. It will also be based on a book by G. A. Henty and is called In Freedom’s Cause. Visit the website for In Freedom’s Cause to learn more. We are excited for the new one to be released because we enjoyed this one so much. At Home.
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