Friday, November 29, 2019

Peter Pan – Paul Boyd’s fresh adaptation of the classic tale (Lyric Theatre until 4 January)

The children in the Darling household are frustrated that their nightly episode of the adventures of Peter Pan has reached a real cliff-hanger and there’s no sign of the next part … when a fairy appears in the room followed by a young figure at the window. Soon, from the safety of the nursery – though I don’t like the look of Nanny Cookson – Wendy, John and Michael are flying off to Neverland to go native, battle pirates on the Jolly Roger, and rescue some very grubby lost boys.

With a family member in one of the alternating young ensemble casts, it’s not my place to offer a critical opinion of a show I’ve such a close connection with, not to mention spent so long dropping off and picking someone up from rehearsals.

Writer, lyricist, composer and director Paul Boyd has gone back and incorporated some of J.M. Barrie’s original ideas into this fresh adaptation of the classic tale which uses all kinds of nooks and crannies in the Lyric Theatre’s main auditorium to tell the story.

Expect a few casting twists, steam punk costumes, a Mad Max soundtrack, psychedelic Neverland plants that could be straight out of In The Night Garden, some clever misdirection to divert your attention, and scenes that are stolen by the appearance of Nana the dog (who really needs to come on and take a bow) and a rather familiar friend from recent production of Crocodile Fever.

If you want to help reunite Peter with his shadow, experience the musical mermaids, witness some high flying jinks, laugh along with a toothy Miss Smee, marvel at the exuberant Peter Pan, join with Wendy as she learns to take risks, or sit back to enjoy Tiger Lily’s darling voice, then you have until 4 January to run away to Neverland and join Peter Pan’s gang in the Lyric Theatre.

Photo credit: Johnny Frazer

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