Visitors to Birmingham’s wonderful Old Rep Theatre are in for a treat this Christmas, with a sparkling, classic retelling of the JM Barrie eternal favourite tale of childhood ‘Peter Pan’. This show features a lovely mix of theatre professionals, and young stars of BOA Stage and Screen, and it certainly enthralled a packed audience, who happily joined in with the songs, and cheered on the protagonists, especially during the famous ‘I believe in fairies’ moment.
Peter Pan is a classic tale of lost children, and those who never want to grow up, and it gets off to a stunning start in the nursery of the Darling Children, with a brilliant Nanna absolutely delighting both young and old in the audience (brilliant puppeteer Stefan Davis, who also brings much of the comedy as Pirate favourite Smee). The stage is alive with raucous play and exasperated parents, and it sets the stage so perfectly for Peter to appear, coming back to find his Shadow. Soon all the children are set for an adventure in Neverland, a place where the young never grow old but are in constant danger from evil Pirate Captain Hook and his crew. Will Hook get his hands on Peter and the Lost Boys, or will the tick tock from the crocodile be his end? It’s a thrilling ride to find out.
The lovely principal cast ensure this story is brilliantly told, and perform the songs with aplomb. Thea-Jo Wolfe is a brilliant Peter, bringing back the tradition of the Principal Boy in some style. She is ably matched by Rhian Lynch as a kind and gentle Wendy, a calm presence amongst the excitement of Neverland. Matthew Christmas is a perfect, devilish Captain Hook (he also plays Mr Darling), delivering every line with just the right amount of Snarl, whilst the lovely Penny Ashmore is wonderful as Mrs Darling, especially in her moments of grief as she waits in the nursery for her missing children to come home. John and Michael Darling, as played by Morag Mayland and Daniel Gaulder, have just the right amount of exuberance and excitement in the roles. The whole cast are ably supported by the superbly talented BOA Stage and Screen members, who are a joy to watch.
Peter Pan is wonderful, and perhaps the crowning glory is the wonderful crocodile, a unsung hero in my eyes, who has to be seen to be believed. Croc tops off what is a fabulous festive treat for all the family.
Peter Pan The Musical – Until 31st December
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