PETER PAN GOES WRONG: based on J M Barrie
Runs 2h 15, one interval
Birmingham Rep till 01 02 15; on tour till 11 July
Review: Alexander Ray Edser, Birmingham Rep, 27 01 15
Let’s face it – this is silly. Very, very silly.
But it’ll have you rolling about with laughter.
All the most twee elements of Peter Pan are untwee-ed and great disrespect is shown to its creator. Choose any element of the story and work out what could go wrong, and it probably does.
The effect is an irreverent, physical knock-about comedy with as much substance as candyfloss, as much seriousness as a banana skin, and as much fun as a proper grown-up fairground. And frequently delightfully non politically correct.
Actors seriously over-act, with the exception of Leonie Hill (Wendy) who over-acts seriously. Alex Bartram proves himself a poseur extraordinaire as Peter Pan. Naomi Sheldon should win prizes for whole-hearted multirole-ing. The acting, however, is upstaged by the scenery and effects, which do seem to take on a life of their own. And the scenery is itself upstaged (and down-staged) by the flying. Sometimes you can feel grateful you are not part of the acting team.
This is hi-energy performance, built on an imaginative (nightmarish?) script. A new game would be to pick your favourite moment – mine is the acting of the triple bunk beds. Oodles of mad imagination ensure you laugh from beginning to end. And wonder if Peter Pan will ever be the same again.
And a special word for Matt Cavendish, who delights us as Nana, the dog, and the crocodile and in many other ways like showing us love will find a way – aaaahh!
Christopher Bean: Laurence Pears
Robert Grove: Cornelius Booth
Max Bennett: Matt Cavendish
Sandra Wilkinson: Leonie Hill
Dennis Tyde: James Marlowe
Trevor Watson: Chris Leask
Francis Beaumont: Harry Kershaw
Annie Twilloil: Naomi Sheldon
Jonathan Harris: Alex Bartram
Lucy Gove: Rosie Abraham
Director: Adam Meggido
Set Designer: Simon Scullion
Lighting Designer: Matt Haskins
Costume Designer: Roberto Surace
Sound Designer: Ella Wahlistrom
Co-Composer: Richard Baker
Co-Composer: Rob Falconer
Assitant Director: Sita Thomas