Review: PETER PAN GOES WRONG, Theatre Royal Glasgow

A refreshing renewal of slapstick comedy, however jokes become overused

By: Mar. 06, 2024
Review: PETER PAN GOES WRONG, Theatre Royal Glasgow
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Review: PETER PAN GOES WRONG, Theatre Royal Glasgow Mischief Theatre made headlines in the West End with their acclaimed “Goes Wrong” series, where the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society showcases performances but everything goes absolutely haywire. Despite previous mishaps, this fictional acting troupe are back at it again, attempting a rendition of Peter Pan

Mayhem commences before the show begins, with distressed cast members running across aisles interacting with audience members - looking frantically for late actors, and passing down electrical wires to repair the lighting system. 

A pre-show speech reveals beef between director Chris Bean (Jack Michael Stacy) and his assistant director Robert Grove (Matthew Howell), who insists he’s actually a co-director. This is a “traditional vignette” Bean claims, but Grove says what we’re all thinking: “it’s a pantomime.” Once the show sets sail, chaos ensues. Doors break, lights won’t work, costume changes fail, set pieces crumble, people get electrocuted, people hang upside down and private grievances among actors spark the wrong type of drama. 

As the piece gets more and more chaotic, we have to admire the actors’ perseverance to finish what they’ve rehearsed - it brings a whole new meaning to “the show must go on.” Stagehands play a huge part bringing on last minute props, fixing broken equipment and even replacing actors. A special mention to set designer Simon Scullion - creating a set that needs to fall apart but still look good is a daunting task, yet his revolving collapsing stage is a highlight.

The piece has a lot of laugh-out-loud moments, shout-out to Jean-Luke Worrell whose glitter-throwing narrator character is charismatically hilarious. However, the play quickly becomes overly predictable, filled with repetitive, overused jokes. There are only so many times we can find the exact same thing funny again and again. Towards the end I was eager for new material, which didn’t really happen. 

A refreshing renewal of slapstick comedy on the British stage, and an enjoyable night out.

Peter Pan Goes Wrong is at the Theatre Royal Glasgow until 9 March.

Image Credit: Peter Pan Goes Wrong


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