PETER Pan is a story that enchants generations of children and retains its fascination for adults, so what better family show to choose for a Christmas production.
Salisbury’s enterprising Studio Youth Theatre has taken on the production in its entirety, with just a very little help from the grown ups, and it’s a delight. On stage at the Ashley Road headquarters until 10th December, director Ellie Webber has selected American playwright Frederick Gaines’ version of JM Barrie’s story, with all its Victorian language and attitudes, and the young actors do it proud.
The dastardly Captain Hook worries more about bad form and etiquette than his impending death. Mr Darling is a pillar of London business life, and so Peter’s unwillingness ever to grow up suddenly makes perfect sense.
In this large and versatile cast, a few performances stand out and really cannot be left out of any review.
Martha-Rose McKeown’s Wendy is as near perfect as any I can imagine. The energetic Fraser Adams is as wonderful as the pompous Mr Darling as he is as a leading lost boy. Jake Pugh gives unforgettable personality to Smee, Fabia Alexander is a totally convincing Peter and Casia Woolley is a tormented and tormenting Hook.
But their performances would be nothing without the support of the rest of the cast and the backstage and production crew, who make this production an enjoyable experience for everyone concerned.
The future of theatre in Salisbury is in very safe hands.
A few tickets remain. Contact the venue for details.