If Peter Pan is showing at your local theatre during the summer holidays and you don’t take your kids to it that makes you a BAD parent!
Of course I am a good one, and so I let the kids tag along with me to review the play at the historical Theatre Royal in our little seaside town of Margate, where the town’s amateur Act 1 Theatre Group offered a funny, heart-warming and a larger than life rendition of the JM Barrie classic.
You are more than likely familiar with the story, but briefly, one evening, after the Darling family’s children have been put to bed, Peter Pan comes to their nursery looking for his lost shadow! Caught red-handed by Wendy, Peter Pan convinces her to travel to Neverland with him. Wendy, along with her siblings flies into the thrilling and exciting world of Neverland, where the Lost Boys run riot and face off against the nefarious pirate crew led by Captain Hook.
In this production, Captain Hook, ably played by an engagingly loud Ben Clark – also standing in as Mr Darling – holds the stage well amidst a simpering collection of androgynous pirates! Mermaids, the Indians and Tinker Bell all make their necessary appearances.
The protagonist is played by Alfie Murray, with a warm, gentle stage presence and youth contributes the right amount of playfulness required for the role – although early in the play his mic slips and it’s hard to hear him (soon fixed after a change of set). Wendy is played by Maisie Waller who is impressively prim, prompt with her lines and pulls of the mix of maternal and young beautifully!
Director Rebecca Clark did a commendable job with the character of our favourite Tinker Bell: We could only see a tiny blue LED, representing the fairy; boy was there a commotion in the room when Tinker Bell died!
Peter Pan chanted, “I believe in fairies” repeatedly to bring Tinker Bell back to life and I have to admit, I, for a second wanted to chant, “I believe in fairies” myself. There was an opportunity for the audiences to participate right there, although one perhaps not fully capitalised on by the cast, who could have brought in the audience a bit more.
Everything from the set design to the traditional costumes was splendid! The cast seemed together and had an infectious energy on stage. As a musical, vocal abilities were naturally mixed but by and large confident, unpretentious, well projected and nicely pitched.
This was my first time watching a Peter Pan performance on stage. But I have read the book before and I can tell that the play was as compelling if not more, thanks to a great production by a young cast who kept my childrens’ attention well. Theatre Royal is a fantastic, intimate venue and it was great to see the stalls nearly full of families.
Did you watch Peter Pan – A Musical Adventure at the Theatre Royal, Margate? Have you watched any of Peter Pan’s Musical?