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A CurtainUp London Review
Peter Pan Goes Wrong
Tom Edden is Francis, the sardonic Narrator whose exits are plagued by an ill behaving chair which often refuses to budge at the cue or moves erratically. The actor playing John (Jonathan Sayer) has such a problem remembering his lines that they are fed to him via headphones which often pick up commercial radio or the traffic cops instead, all of which he faithfully speaks on stage. There are other sound glitches where things said off stage are relayed so that Max (Dave Hearn) instantly gets our sympathy because his acting skills are so cruelly discussed. Playing the crocodile which torments Captain Hook (Henry Shields) Max has adapted a trolley to slide on stage and which he picks up and carries off to many expressions of pity from the audience. The romantic dalliances of the cast are complicating.
Peter Pan's left behind shadow is a terrible mismatch and Peter spends much of his flying time hanging upside down as the stage hands tries to learn the flying ropes. I don't want to spoil the surprise of many of the laughs which come thick and fast so that your face almost hurts from laughing so much, but the collapsing bunk beds trapping the Darling children inside are brilliant and I so loved the joke when the Darling children attempt to follow Peter by flying to Neverland.
Tinkerbell's costume is a skirt connected to the mains and the wonderful Nancy Wallinger is often caught short with her electric lead. There are moments when all the lights fuse and Simon Scullion's set has shock and surprise built into it. The amateur thesps have a Tootles beset with stage fright (Ellie Morris).
I can't think of a better treat for all the family than tickets to this charming and cheerful Christmas show. Still running at the Duchess from the same company, Mystery Theatre, is the Olivier Award Winning comedy, the murder mystery mishap that is The Play That Goes Wrong and at the Criterion from 31st March is a new piece to look forward to, The Comedy About A Bank Robbery.
Retold by Tina Packer of Shakespeare & Co.
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