PETER PAN | STAGE REVIEW
Weds 5 December
words: LOUISE MORRIS
Peter tells Wendy that “one girl is worth more use than twenty boys,” once she is safely away from her struggles. Their destination: Neverland. Writer Rob Evans brings the magic of Christmas to Cardiff with a thoroughly modern twist. A witty and visually impressive adaptation of J.M Barrie’s classic that continues the tradition of spectacular Christmas shows at Sherman Cymru.
Unable to move on, Wendy retells childhood stories to her brothers of a boy named Peter. On Christmas Eve, Wendy wishes for an escape, and her wish comes true as the rebellious and charming Peter Pan (Joshua Considine) crashes through her window looking for his shadow. Using impressive multimedia effects they set off for Neverland and land amongst the stars.
The musical aspect of the play happily showcased the cast’s vocal abilities; particularly as Evans’ adaptation can at times be rather adult. Whilst not a bad thing, such statements as “[Tink] has a civil partnership to get to” and Michael (Meilir Rhys Williams) being overjoyed at having a male angel on the tree does revert to stereotypes and may be lost on younger viewers. Although, Kudos to Evans for being so progressive, such quips are a keen insight into the popular politics of current times and for the adults of the audience, it not only raised a laugh, but also struck a chord. A brave and exciting step in what is predominantly a children’s production.
There is plenty of good humour to keep younger viewers enthralled as well. Humour is particularly focused on Hook’s obvious hook for a hand which Gomer revelled in and hammed up in spectacular fashion. Along with Kyle Rees as the comedic Smee, the duo stole the show – a highlight being Smee’s tale of the Leaky Tree. As the Lost Boys, Tootles, Curly and Nibs (played by Williams, Graham and Scales, respectively) were caught urinated from the top of their treehouse in a scene which really captures the essence of Peter Pan.
The show is impressive as a classic, and as such, should be tricky to adapt into a more modern context. However, Evans has done so with ease via not only a fantastic cast, but also an impressive production team able to pull such a visually enchanting piece together.
Peter Pan is at Sherman Cymru, Cardiff, until Sat 5 Jan. Info: www.shermancymru.co.uk / 029 2064 6900