Who’d have thought a few years ago that the college campus theatre could have produced a show with not one flying actor but four, and that they’d be able to soar over the rooftops of London, past Big Ben striking their way to Neverland.
Barry Squance’s imaginative production is full of delightful and quirky moments as Mr Darling’s reminiscences catapult the audience into the world of make believe that JM Barrie turned into a timeless classic. With Sarah Neale in charge of the choreography, and a large number of talented singing acting dancers to call on, this is a Peter Pan full of spectacle, humour, sentiment and bravery … all with a very hissable villain and a crocodile many of us would have liked to take home to play.
Adaptor Reece Sibbald resisted the temptation to turn this into a Dame-and-all pantomime, and cut Nana from the characters, but Barry Squance knows what his customers expect, so he has given some howlingly dreadful jokes to Mr Smee (a scene-stealing performance from Dean Wilson) and his sidekick Starkey, played by Justin Hodge as David Walliams.
Tobias Turley is a perfect Peter, full of swagger and adolescent confidence, and Olivia Kerton, Edward Yates and Oliver Shakesby are the Darling children, teleported out of their beds to a land full of pirates and Indians.
Joe Chester is just right as Hook, combining camp ego and perfectly-balanced menace so the children can hiss and boo without clambering under their seats.
Hannah Switzer captures the devilish devotion of the jealous Tinkerbell, and Cherry Lewis is the bereft Mrs Darling, all ready to welcome an indeterminate number of Lost Boys into her home with open arms.
There are only a handful of tickets left for this lovely show, on until Sunday 3rd January. Get one if you can.