Peter Pan

This fun new adaptation of JM Barrie’s classic story begins in Priceland. It’s closing time on Friday night and the orange-uniformed store employees are waiting for the end of their shift. Tonight is Pete’s (Sean Keating) last day at Priceland. He’s about to leave their small town for London, with dreams of finding rock stardom. His best friend since childhood, Wendy (Rosie Fox), has a going-away present for him: the copy of Peter Pan that her mum used to read to them. It’s apparent that there are some unresolved feelings between Pete and Wendy. But Pete’s off to chase dreams and Wendy is staying to pursue her A-levels. When a lost girl appears in the store, the crew delay their plans to go to the pub and Wendy begins a retelling of Peter Pan to cheer the girl up, casting her colleagues in the key roles.

An enchanting and imaginative show about pursuing your dreams that will delight the whole family.

This show has a fine cast. Eve Pearson is very funny as officious supervisor Lorraine as well as an enthusiastic Tinkerbell and James Mountain revels in his role as Hook. Joe McWilliam shines as Smee, Hook’s right-hand man. The young performers from Duckegg Youth Theatre are great to watch and quite professional about it; the show has benefitted from clever direction. I really enjoyed the incorporation of music and the way various performers became accompanists.

This is a lovely piece of new writing. Haley Cox’s adaptation is clever and poignant. However I feel there’s a choice to be made about whether Pete’s plan to move to London reflects a choice to grow up or a desire to avoid it, as it’s played both ways but never fully commits and its intended message is lost slightly. I was also unsure how Jane, the girl lost in the supermarket, suddenly became another character in Neverland – while wearing the same costume. Younger audience members won’t mind these details though.

The set – orange and green checked tiles with a storefront – offers a lot of space to play out the adventures in Neverland, including in a shopping trolley. Also, the shadow puppetry used is particularly clever, creating a good sense of the ominous ticking crocodile. Lighting changes let us know when we are in Neverland or when the real world of Priceland intrudes, notably in some tender moments between Wendy and Pete.

An enchanting and imaginative show about pursuing your dreams that will delight the whole family.

Reviews by Emma Gibson

theSpace @ Venue45

Love and Information by Caryl Churchill

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The Blurb

A modern, musical retelling of Peter Pan exploring small town mentality, youth aspiration and the challenges of following your dreams. It’s five minutes until closing time at Tesco. Join A Level student and cashier Wendy Darling as she takes us into the timeless story of Peter Pan – second star to the left and straight on ’til morning! Throw in a misunderstood Captain Hook, a hot guitarist Peter Pan, a Tinker Bell straight out of TOWIE and a sprinkle of fairy dust (and an awesome soundtrack!) and you get a sparkling show guaranteed to get your toes tapping.