Peter Pan Goes Wrong – Civic Theatre, Darlington
Posted by: The Reviews Hub – Yorkshire & North East
Writers: Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, Henry Shields
Music &Lyrics: Richard Baker, Rob Falcolner
Director: Adam Meggido
Cornley Polytechnic returns with their classic Christmas vignette of Peter Pan, Peter Pan Goes Wrong.
The joy of Mischief Theatre is the pure genius in their writing. You can see the jokes coming a mile away – and that just makes them all the funnier. The technical aspects are outstanding; the incidents and accidents precise, concise and well executed. From tiny mishaps such as a falling light missing an actress by millimetres, to the huge disasters that befall the rest of the show, show the high calibre of the writing and acting as well as the production and technical crew ensuring that everything goes badly really well. And with a misbehaving rotund it can be no coincidence that by the end it looks like the death scene on the barricade from Les Miserables!
Peter Pan Goes Wrong is a very visual show within a show which needs to be seen to be believed, so it’s unfair to give away too much of the plot. However there are simple added extras that make the show shine from the start. Being stuck in the theatre foyer due to “technical issues” until almost before the show starts, the stage crew still being in the auditorium as we get seated doing last minute bits, arguing between themselves and asking for help from the audience, and an impromptu rendition of “Happy Birthday” for ‘Mary’.
Due to the indisposition of a member of the youth theatre, toddler Michael Darling is now played by “the most mature of the mature students” Robert Grove (Cornelius Both), made funnier that he is over 6 foot tall and had mighty fine beard. John Darling (James Marlow), also over 6 foot has memory problems so is fitted with an ear pierce that predictably picks up different radio stations, police reports and taxis.
Wendy Darling (Leonie Hill) is overly flirty and over-acted in every respect. As the girlfriend of Peter Pan (Alex Bartram), she is very much the lead, while huge respect goes to Naomi Sheldon who plays Annie playing Mrs Darling, Liza the Maid, Tigerlilly and who gets electrocuted in her rôle of Tinkerbell. Special mention also to Rosie Abraham who plays Lucy playing Tootles, who over-comes her stutter to get the whole audience yelling “I do believe in Fairies”, managing to keep her head and admirably finish the show.
The whole cast and crew are outstanding, and Peter Pan Goes Wrong really has to be seen. You will laugh to the extent you may feel you are going to suffocate from lack of air. In Darlington until Sunday – make the trip, this show is worth every penny.