THE clue is in the name.
Peter Pan Goes Wrong is an organised mess of a production, top-heavy with slapstick humour where everything -and I mean everything - goes wrong, resulting in consistent infectious laughter throughout the audience.
Disney-lovers are transported into a parallel version of the classic family-favourite Peter Pan, where the infamous journey to Neverland is riddled with physical humour and ridiculous comedic dialogue.
Co-written by Mischief Theatre company members Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, Peter Pan Goes Wrong is directed by Adam Meggido.
Sometimes verging more on the ridiculous side, the production relies heavily on an audience with a love for slapstick and flamboyant humour, which was deemed successful on the particular night of my review.
It took mere seconds for audience members to settle into their seats for the entertainment to begin – with the curtain still draped low on to the stage – with performers warming up the room by toying with audience members with spontaneous, improvised interaction.
The play introduces ‘The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society’ who are attempting to stage J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan, with little fluency, grace or professionalism.
A fast-paced re-telling of Peter Pan then captures the audience, with laughs at every corner and a hint of pantomime theatricality throughout (although Captain Hook himself does declare it is NOT a pantomime during scenes, with responses of “Oh yes is it” creating further laughs).
The production is performed by an ensemble cast of ten, featuring Laurence Pears, Cornelius Booth, Alex Bartram, James Marlowe, Chris Leask, Leonie Hill, Naomi Sheldon, Matt Cavendish, Harry Kershaw and Rosie Abraham.
The commitment of the energetic and mischievous cast truly holds the production together, with the quirky concept of theatre workers taking the stage “accidentally on purpose” as part of the act, fixing broken props (with low-key chainsaws and hammers) and attaching wires to Peter Pan and co so they can fly, in a less than subtle manner.
At many points, the accident-prone cast’s persistent embarrassing failures creates a genuine atmosphere and scene, convincing many that they are watching an amateur performance majorly in need of rehearsal.
Despite Peter Pan inevitably being the central character, Leonie Hill's portrayal of flamoyant, dramatically endearing Wendy steals the audience's attention throughout, as well as Naomi Sheldon's performance as Tinkerbell... and a few other characters during the production (with costume changes being hilariously unrehearsed and unsuccessful).
Peter Pan Goes Wrong is the perfect choice for a family viewing but slapstick-haters and audience interaction-hiders - beware.
The adventure to Neverland may be a disaster, but the theatrical performance along the way is certainly not.