London’s Shaftesbury Avenue holds host to a huge array of theatre.
Over this winter period the Apollo Theatre opened its doors to Mischief Theatre company and director Adam Meggido with their production of Peter Pan Goes Wrong.
Mischief Theatre Company formed in 2008 and has been developing devised and improvised theatre since.
Neverland is brought to life in this charming amatuer dramatic production by Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society.
It is a beautiful example of a play within a play.
The backstage crew are involved in the entire production, both actors portraying crew and the crew themselves.
The play begins in the audience as they seat themselves with the backstage ‘crew’ interacting with the audience.
This sets the precedent for the pantomimesque moments of ‘he’s behind you’, although the cast refuse to condone the idea of pantomime, causing more audience hilarity.
Peter Pan is known for flight, in fact it is the most magical idea within the book.
This production has an ingenious way of getting around the need for five actors to be in the air.
The audience find themselves rooting for Max/Michael/the crocodile (played by Dave Hearn) as the director makes it clear that Max can’t act and was only given the part as the company needed his uncle’s money.
When he has to take on the role of Peter Pan (for a moment) he plays it with panache.
Lucy is Tootles, one of the lost boys, (played by Ellie Morris) a character that generates empathy and is, in my opinion, the key character in the play.
Lucy suffers from stage fright throughout the play but when everyone else has had as much as they can handle Lucy ‘believes in fairies’ and becomes the unlikely hero.
There was fabulous use of a revolving stage to enable the use of beautiful set pieces (created by Simon Scullion) without massive scene changes.
This is especially wonderful at the end as it brings hilarity to the finish of the story.
Throughout there was a little too much use of character’s audition tapes being played out ‘accidentally’ to move the plot forwards.
It became an easy way to move the story on without much effort.
If you love slapstick and physical comedy make sure you grab a ticket before the run ends on January 31st 2016.