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 last.minute.com 

2 comments:

  1. I'm so glad you enjoyed it, I haven't been myself yet as we went to see the Snowman and the Christmas Carol starring Hale (of Hale&Pace no less)... We're not doing pantomimes this year but I love the Christmas shows, they're so magical x

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