Get ready to be blown away by this terrific production of Peter Pan. Having watched practically every show Swish have performed at the Pavilion I have never yet been disappointed, and this was no exception.
For those of you not familiar with the J M Barrie’s story, Peter Pan (a boy who never gets grows up) and his friend Tinker Bell, a fairy, whisk away siblings Wendy, John and Michael to the island of Neverland, where Captain Hook seeks vengeance against Peter for cutting off his hand.
Sofia Ferreira, the Storyteller and later the grandmother, was exceptional in her storytelling. Her diction was perfect and not one word was missed, she commanded her role on stage every time she appeared. From the onset I warmed to Wendy played by Megan McCall, who did indeed give me the impression of a warm, loving sister to John and Michael and more than capable of being a ‘mother’ to the lost boys. She showed maturity and confidence in her performance. John played by Lewis Simons and Michael by Harry Payne both created their characters well and were very convincing. Mrs Darling (Philipa Johnson), mother of the children, was well suited to her role and certainly while she was awaiting their return seemed genuinely emotional.
It would be unfair not to mention the Darling’s dog Nana (Alicia Markham) whom you were drawn to every time she came on stage, her head and body movements depicted her character and made you love her instantly.
And in flew Peter Pan – WOW, what an entrance! Oliver Payne really was Peter Pan, he was superb in his performance. Some of the singing numbers were, I thought, difficult tunes, but he mastered them with perfection. He literally ‘bounced’ around the stage as light as air, a pleasure to watch.
The flying scene at the start of act one when Peter whisks the children to Neverland was phenomenal, breath-taking and emotional; this certainly set the scene for the rest of the show.
Captain Cook (James Feilden) was indeed the professional; he not only looked the part, he really did do it justice with his band of Pirates (Crocs), who were vibrant and energetic throughout the show. Smee played by Dominic Wells was a funny character, who looked and acted his comedy roll with timing and precision, bringing the audience to lots of bouts of laughter. To maximise his potential, he needs to make sure he brings every line to the audience as his facial expressions were excellent.
The Lost Boys (Racoons team) were full of energy and excitement; they certainly took their parts to heart and gave it their all. I was drawn to children, in particular Slightly (Elena Clarke) and Curly (Sam Payne) who seemed to lead their team. Tiger Lily (Iris Kerwick) lead her team of Braves well; they were beautiful dancers, poised and commanding.
The Stage Management team need to be congratulated on their sleek performance throughout the show; bearing in mind this was the first night, it went almost flawlessly on their behalf. I was very impressed with their scene changes, lighting and of course the flying.
This is a show not to be missed; I hope you play to packed audiences throughout the rest of the week. Well done and congratulations on a superb show.