Wendy & Peter Pan, RSC, Stratford - review

By Ian Hughes Thursday 19 December 2013 Updated: 09/01 07:43

Latest News

Buy photos » Guy Henry (Hook) and Sam Swann (Peter Pan). (s)

Wendy & Peter Pan

RSC Stratford

IF the yardstick for such shows is to leave a broad smile across the faces of young and not so young alike then Wendy & Peter Pan succeeds magnificently.

As the monster that is Matilda reaches 900 shows, it's difficult to believe the latest in the RSC's now traditional annual family shows will not have a life beyond its scheduled finish date in March. Director Jonathan Munby's production of Ella Hickson's adaptation of JM Barrie's classic is spectacular. Magic aside, this is not Disney; more Simpsons, engaging both children and adults at once, but at times on different levels.

Hickson reworks the original, creating Neverland in the imagination of Wendy, carried off magnificently by

RSC débutante Fiona Button. Her Wendy is a girl in the know who becomes increasingly frustrated and aghast at how silly boys are, and the fact all the girls seem to want to kill her.

Sam Swann as the harmonica-playing Peter Pan is a perfect foil for this Wendy as wide-eyed innocent who really doesn't want to grow up. Early on he's all excited at what he thinks was his first kiss, but with Wendy's help he's a little wiser come the end.

This is a cast without a weak link, from Darling parents to brothers, Lost Boys to Shadows, and a truly motley crew of comedy pirates led by Guy Henry as arch baddie Captain Hook.

Charlotte Mills, as the larger than life, and quite angry, fairy Tink, and Michelle Asante's street cool South African Tiger Lily, join forces with Wendy as girl power wins the day, as Hickson smashes the fairytale stereotype of weak in need of saving women, with nods to suffragettes, and the problems men have with ironing.

While a visual feast, it also has gags which are genuinely funny - from surveys about dwarfs to a stomach-churning misinterpretation of pooh sticks. There's even a spot of audience participation as Peter calls for help to wish a fairy back to life.

As a spectacle it has to be one of the richest yet seen at the RST, as the full arsenal is employed. A skull mastheaded Jolly Roger sails onto set, and the Lost Boys subterranean home rises from beneath the floorboards. The flying scenes are also hugely impressive.

At one point a young voice from the audience can't stop himself crying out 'behind you' as the pirates approach. He was in Neverland. This is a magical production in every sense.

Wendy & Peter Pan runs at the RST until March 2.

Visit www.rsc.org.uk or call the box office on 0844 800 1110 for tickets and further details.

Latest News

Buy photos» Fiona Button (Wendy). (s)

Latest News

Buy photos» Guy Henry as arch baddie Captain Hook. (s)

Latest News

Buy photos» Charlotte Mills, as the larger than life, and quite angry, fairy Tink. (s)

Latest News

Buy photos» The Jolly Roger. (s)

Share This

Popular »

1 Gingerbread welcome at Stratford-on-Avon hotel

2 M40 crash gridlock

3 School children coach evacuated on M40

4 More to Christmas Truce than football

5 Lottery win for Stratford-on-Avon couple

More entertainment »

Spring in the air at Warwick Arts Centre

RUSSELL Brand to the Philharmonic Orchestra will be

Wolf Hall and Bring Up The Bodies - RSC, Stratford-on-Avon ...

Wolf Hall/Bring Up The Bodies RSC Swan Theatre

Piano trio start off Music in the Round

THE MUSIC in the Round season begins this

Dodgy at Shakespeare No1

HIT Britpop band 'Dodgy' are taking to the

Regional entertainment »


Evesham Observer
Keeping everyone guessing at charity evening

WHEN an Evesham couple commissioned a murder mystery film for ...

Redditch Standard
Electrifying Courteeners performance

The Courteeners, Birmingham O2 Academy Thursday, November 20 TO CELEBRATE ...

Leamington Observer
Scrooge The Musical at Leamington's Loft Theatre

IT'S all humbug at Leamington's Loft Theatre. Scrooge The Musical ...

Worcester Observer

Visit the Worcester Observer website for the latest.