Monday, 21 December 2009

Why Peter Pan's still flying high! A review

It’s a timeless children’s classic but Peter Pan has been given a magical makeover to bring it to the London stage that takes it to dizzying new heights.

This is no Disney movie sugarcoated version of J M Barrie’s adventure story or a thigh-slapping Pantomime.

The intimate ‘in the round’ production at the 02 is an intelligent, witty, thought-provoking and entertaining play with dazzling flying displays.

I had to drag my seven-year-old son through the snow to the specially commissioned, state-of-the-art theatre tent in the O2’s historic Meridian Gardens.

‘Peter Pan’s for babies,’ Deme spat, imagining a saccharine sweet fairy and green-suited prince of Never Never land.

But up close and personal, he sat enthralled at the spectacular effects – a 360 degree projected scenic design, high wire, over-our-heads acrobatics, clever puppetry, 3D animatronics, sumptuous costumes and superb acting from an acclaimed cast.

 ‘Wow,’ my little boy said as a degenerate, jealous Tinkerbelle, dressed in a tutu and DM boots soared, swooped and air-danced just feet away.

The story’s the same and, unlike Peter Pan, never grows old.

But for the fast time I understood why Peter never wants to grow up.

Both bitter and vulnerable, he’s turned his back on real life after battling to find his way home only to discover he’s been replaced - by a baby brother.

‘Asleep in my bed!’ Peter rages. ‘That’s what mothers do.’

Railing against normality, Peter would rather fight the evil (and hilarious) Captain Hook (played fantastically by Jonathon Hyde) as an eternal boy than grow old.

‘Do you mean get a job?’ he asks in disgust when Wendy begs him to stay with her and the newly adopted Lost Boys in London. ‘Go work in an office? I never want to be a man.’

Sounds like a lot of teenagers I know – and they don’t have to fight pirates, dodge crocodiles and perform daredevil flying scenes.

The play’s long at two hours, with a half-hour interval, but the time flies by. It was one of the best family nights out ever – a soar away success.  

Mum’s verdict 5/5 Not for under fives unless they’re very good at sitting still. Fab festive family fun.

Kids’ verdict 5/5 Deme says: ‘I want to be a Lost Boy and learn how to fly. Magical!’

Thanks to Liz at living with kids and nixdminx for organizing my tickets.
Get up to 50 per cent off your ticket through 

Tuesday, 1 December 2009


Dear Santa,

This year I’ve been a good girl and think I deserve a few treats.

I don’t want to be greedy so won’t ask for much. It’s a credit-crunch Christmas and I know designer handbags, expensive perfume and holidays to faraway shores are all off the list.

Instead could I have the following under my Christmas tree?

Jedward as my Mannies– Forget Mary Poppins, the Dublin twins John and Edward really do have the X-Factor as far as my kids are concerned.
They could teach my seven-year-old son how to ‘dance’ and spray his hair into a giant quiff.
Deme has even taught his baby sister all the words to Ghostbusters, so imagine what they could all do to her favourite nursery rhymes? Have you heard the Twinkle Twinkle rap or Baba Black Sheep sung off key in a Westlife-style arrangement?
Maybe their mentor Louis Walsh would come round too just to make sure no one breaks the (house) rules.

One hour in the bath and a whole day of going to the toilet without the entire family insisting on getting in or asking: ‘What are you doing?’
Just imagine I wouldn’t have to hide my expensive Italian bath salts (a gift from a friend with fantastic taste) or worry about my baby throwing the toilet roll/her doll/my book into the water. And I could actually sit on the loo without my son questioning me about it or my little girl trying to pull off my knickers to wear as a hat.
Yes, she did actually manage to find a dirty pair once and wear them when an estate agent turned up to value the house. Needless to say, we decided not to sell. I just couldn’t face seeing him again.

An evening vamping it up with Edward Cullen and Jacob – admit it, you’ve all rushed to see New Moon just to swoon at these two. I’ll take the Twilight DVD, tickets for the cinema to watch the latest saga again and posters of both Taylor Lautner and RPattz.
If you can’t stretch to that then the entire box set of True Blood will do – and maybe a few drops of V. I want to see why vampire’s blood is the new drink of choice. It must have some bite!

Liposuction – I’m not talking a head-to-toe Kerry Katona job. No, just a few tweaks here and there. Like my jelly belly, wobbly thighs and triple chin. It would be good to get rid of my love handles too and those bingo wings. Might as well remove the back fat and cankles while you’re at it. Oh, all right. Do the whole lot. I’d like to be a size 8 please.
And I don’t mind a little lift in the breast area – I did feed two babies. My nose could do with straightening and OK a nip/tuck under the eyes and jaw line will be fine. If you tie the knot behind the ears or at the back of my head no one will notice. I’ll say I went on a spa day and it worked wonders.

A cleaner, cook and stylist – Kim’s busy in the jungle, Gordon’s swearing in the f-word and Gok never answers my calls. Just get my mother-in-law to come over and sort out the house, my menu and wardrobe please.
I’m living on cheese on toast, wearing my husband’s jogging bottoms and spend every waking moment brushing/sweeping/mopping the floor after the baby’s breakfast/lunch/dinner and snacks.
Whatever happened to the blow-dried working woman who (shock!) left the house in (eek!) clothes with no snot or milk dribbles.
I’d like to have her back in the mirror just for Christmas day. If you don’t mind.

A white Christmas – like we had when I was a kid. I want to take my children outside to have snowball fights and build a snowman. I’ll even buy them an organic carrot for the nose.
Otherwise can I just win the lottery so I can visit Lapland again? My little boy loved it so much he’s still talking about it a year later.
Check him out on the best festive holiday ever on one of the top 10 travel blogs, according to  

Now I can’t wait for December 25... What would you like for Christmas? Write to Santa and let him know here!