‘Wendy & Peter Pan’ is on at the RSC in Stratford-Upon-Avon until 2 March 2014
A surprisingly comedic take on the classic children’s tale, Wendy & Peter Pan brought to life the joyous innocence of childhood and combined it seamlessly with adult humour, leaving audience members of all ages in fits of laughter. The sprinkle of fairy dust delivered the original opening to new levels, adding an extra layer that provided Wendy with a motive on her adventure to Neverland- an intriguing addition to the classic plot.
The only questionable casting was Captain Hook whose take on the role just didn’t fulfil the Hook of many an imagination; a slight glitch amongst an otherwise wonderful cast.
On a lighter note, there’s something intrinsically witty about a well-placed accent, as the array of cleverly constructed characters proved. A bustling Tinkerbell, larger than life, was just was just one of Ella Hickson’s masterfully woven adaptations and contrasted beautifully with an enviably flexible and terrifyingly sinister crocodile.
As ever, the RSC, not content with a stationary stage, featured many a moving part in their interpretation. Never ones to adopt a minimalist approach, they have a distinct ability to transform their space completely. This is the third play I’ve seen there (it’s become something of a Christmas tradition) and I’ve yet to leave without having been fully immersed in the intimate setting of each.
To write this off as merely a nice play to make you feel all warm and Christmassy inside would be impossible; what is, on the surface, a pleasant and humorous version of Barrie’s play, is in fact a poignant and thought-provoking tale of death, remembrance and love. If it’s a magical Christmas play or something more than a little bit different you’re after, head to Stratford and book a seat at the RSC before it sells out.