BWW Review: PETER PAN GOES WRONG, Theatre Royal Brighton
All it takes are some happy thoughts and fairy dust...that's how the boy who never grows up is able to fly, at least. In Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Mischief Theatre's take on the JM Barrie classic certainly lifts your spirits, but mainly because not everything quite goes to plan for the young performers!
Peter Pan Goes Wrong started life at the 2014 Edinburgh Fringe, penned by the founding members of Mischief Theatre. It went on to tour the UK before playing the West End in 2015. A shorter version of the show was shown on the BBC on New Years Eve in 2016 with David Suchet playing the part of the narrator. This new tour is currently playing at Theatre Royal Brighton.
Those familiar with Mischief Theatre shows know that you should turn up early to be immersed in the chaotic show's pre-show madness. Walking into the auditorium, I was met with the collective effort of those in the stalls trying to pass an extension cable to the back of the theatre to remedy a power cut. This merely scratches the surface of the event-filled evening.
The same well-loved students from the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society seen in The Play That Goes Wrong are back and between them, they juggle the iconic characters from Neverland as well as various members of the production crew.
Peter Pan is full of gusto, played by Jonathan, who is, in turn, played by Ciaran Kellgren. His chemistry, both on- and off-stage with the show's Wendy (Katy Daghorn) is delightful.
Phoebe Ellabani as Annie impressively switches costumes at breakneck speed while also being full of attitude as Tinkerbell amongst other characters.
Connor Crawford gets brilliantly frustrated with the audience as Chris, who is the director, Mr Darling and Captain Hook.
Georgia Bradley is suitably jittery as Lucy, crippled with stage fright and Romayne Andrews is extremely funny as Dennis who, bless him, just can't remember his lines.
Tom Babbage is the man of the evening, winning over the hearts of the audience as Max, who plays the roles of Michael, mermaid and the crocodile.
Direction from Adam Meggido keeps the pace and the stakes breathtakingly high. The evening flies by with stunt after stunt, making you wonder if there's anything else that could possibly go wrong in the pirate-filled tale.
Simon Scullion's rotating set transports you from the Darling's Bloomsbury home to the forests of Neverland and is both a help and hilarious hindrance to the storytelling at times.
For an evening of gasps and belly laughs, you must head to the Theatre Royal to catch Peter Pan Goes Wrong before it flies away.
Peter Pan Goes Wrong at Theatre Royal Brighton until 24 November 2019 and then continues on tour
Photography credit: Alastair Muir
Check out our interview with Phoebe Ellabani about the show