The National and Bristol Old Vic’s collaboration puts a sad twist on this adventurous tale, making it very relevant to adults and appealing to children. The boy who never grew up is displayed by a middle age man (Paul Hilton) almost going through a midlife crisis. As everyone moves on with their life Peter almost seems stuck. Sally Cookson puts together an exciting show with the magic of aerial on display for us to see.
Paul Hilton puts a great twist on the classic young boy of Peter Pan as a preppy 40-year-old. The cast do a great job in bringing the characters alive, the ensemble as the Lost Boys and Hook’s crew playing young and old is a fantastic contrast. The main characters are borderline pantomime, but I guess this is a Christmas show! It is lovely to see Mrs Darling double up as Hook as each character is strong independently; showing Anna Francolini’s versatility. It is refreshing to see a diverse cast and some bold choices are made. My favourite is Saikat Ahamed playing an unexpected Twist on TinkerBell.
The setting at the beginning represents simplicity in the current world on stage with just a bed and the black curtain. Once we are taking on the journey to Neverland that simplicity is shattered. In terms of the production, my favourite part is when Hook’s boat emerges from underneath the stage; this is when the magic of theatre blends well with the magic of the story. The audience is truly taken away with the sheer size of the boat and the revolving stage to give the essence of the distance it has travelled.
This is a great show for children and adults to enjoy over the holidays and to bring some joy and magic from a classic story into 2016. Even the programme doubles up for the children to enjoy as a colour book, journal and creative fun. There are lots of interactive games and installations around the National for the children and adults to play together. 3/5
Review written by Jessica Andrade.
Peter Pan is currently showing at the National Theatre until Saturday 4th February. For more information on the production, visit here…