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Mercury Theatre, Colchester
Until 26 August
This enchanting production initially sees the cast mingling with the audience, inviting us into “the map of a person’s mind,” to experience the imaginary world of Neverland as they have, clad in their pyjamas.
Innocent Peter appears at the window like an angel with a golden lit backdrop and Wendy feels duty bound to join him to help educate the noisy Lost Boys who have no bedtime stories and do not enjoy the childhood she is used to. Flying away together we are drawn into a world of make believe where the dastardly Captain Hook threatens to kill Peter. How delighted we are when Peter boldly stands up to him and is then rescued with the help of faithful Tinkerbell and her friends. Another adult is held up to ridicule as Mr Darling is not indeed brave enough to swallow his medicine and is made a laughing stock.
The stand –out performance comes from Alicia McKenzie who deftly portrays Michael, Jukes and squeaks her way around the stage as the mischievous Tinkerbell using her fairy language.
The set cleverly revolves to become first a bedroom and then the deck of a ship. Two lights appear from below the boards of the stage to convey the frightening presence of the crocodile which sends Captain Hook into a spin. Inventive white confetti imitates the foam of the sea and a bath is comically used a boat.
The talented cast play instruments in accompaniment to the play and comically switch in and out of roles at the drop of a hat, particularly when playing the pirates. They bring a childlike enthusiasm and energy to the entertainment.
Children were invited onto the stage to meet the cast at the end of the performance. An excited number took up the opportunity. There are also activities for them in the programme such as a wordsearch and baking fairy cakes with Tinkerbell.
This was a delightful production with humour for the whole family. We were left with the thought that it was “time to fly.”
- Peter Pan runs at the Mercury Theatre, Colchester until the 26th August. For more information or to book visit www.mercurytheatre.co.uk.