Peter Pan Cast

Peter Pan Goes Wrong

The Alexandra Theatre


Mischief Theatre found national fame with The Play that Goes Wrong and since then they have created a substantial catalogue of wrong-goings and have found success internationally, across stage and screen. With all that in mind, the fly-gallery bars have been set dangerously high for their current tour of Peter Pan Goes Wrong.

Yet from the moment the auditorium opens there is an atmosphere of joyful fun and manic chaos as the company make their last-minute alterations to the theatre. Any sense of scepticism that this format has been done and done again lifts so quickly that it could be one of Peter Pan’s exits.

Mischief do well to ensure us that we’re in (un)safe hands for the next few hours, preparing us for the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society’s retelling of the well-loved tale.

George Haynes brings us the power hungry, dictator-director, Chris Bean, who casts himself as the authoritative Mr. Darling and Captain Hook; getting ever so stroppy when things are not taken seriously.

Oliver Senton treads the boards with an ego (and hair style) that fills the auditorium as Robert; the company’s co – or is it assistant – director who is, in his mind. wasted in amateur theatre. A career of Shakespeare and Pinter await him, and he will take on any role in case it gives him his break.

We are introduced to Katy Daghorn’s spoilt Sandra, who plays Wendy; and probably every other leading lady in amdram history. Every articulation is joined with a hip swinging, arm raising, hair flicking gesture.

Tom Babbage is totally endearing as Max, who performs mainly as Michael. The pure innocence of Max’s character is encapsulated by every little look to the audience. All he wants is validation, and it is impossible not to give it to him.

Then we have Romayne Andrews who gives us the utterly hopeless Dennis, who completes the Darling trio. Dennis’ ineptitude is played so particularly that it is only ever funny. It’s only ever the company that ever get frustrated with him.

The eponymous boy from Neverland is played by the company’s Jonathan, who is brought to life with arrogance, but plenty of charm, by James Marlowe. Marlowe clearly has a head for heights and achieves some real gymnastic feats that genuinely gains sympathy as he is flung unwillingly around the stage.

Phoebe Ellabani plays Annie, a marvel when it comes to costume changes. Annie is tasked with four characters and – for the most part – keeps up with them too. Ellabani brings a clumsy and boisterous performance when it comes to Tinkerbell; a new interpretation of the dainty, mischievous fairy.

Patrick Warner is Francis, who narrates the story with such showbiz splendour, and hilarity ensues as he desperately wants the show to succeed. Every twitch of his face says a whole sentence as he gradually loses faith in his peers.

Accompanying them is Georgia Bradley who is the stage frightened Lucy with such pity that every situation she finds herself in is equally heart-wrenching, and hilarious . . . if that’s possible. As well as Ethan Moorhouse as the brawny but never brainy stage manager, Trevor, who [is put through his paces when he is roped in, cluelessly and reluctantly, to join the cast.

Simon Scullion’s set is full of childish wonderment and truly belongs in a picture book. Whilst on the surface it’s a simple setup; it has been constructed with many hidden secrets, and just about everything can and will break. Occasionally the clutter makes the stage too busy for all of the gags to be seen; and creates some tight spots for the actors here and there.

The technical achievements, stunts, and choreography of this piece are where those awe-inspiring moments originate from. Everything that does go wrong is done in such a slick, precise way, that only induces humour. Although the fictional company may seem in danger, the cast and crew are performing a whole arsenal of magic tricks and often in quick succession.

Another token of praise needs to be handed to director Adam Meggido who has clearly disciplined his cast to enjoy the madness onstage, but never to over-indulge. The recurring jokes only get better, with each punchline paying off bigger than before. A masterclass in comedy performance.

Sincerely, Peter Pan Goes Wrong is fun for all of the family, which seems a cliché but is undoubtedly the case. There are moments of childish silliness, clever dialogue for the thinkers, but above all there is plenty of heart.

Mischief Theatre will be desperately trying to get it right until 22-02-20! 

Richard Scott


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