A Pan For All Seasons: Peter Pan At The Troubadour White City
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In your parents’ day, Peter Pan was the show that captured their theatrical imaginations because they couldn’t see how the magic worked.
Sally Cookson’s reinterpreted Peter Pan at the new, splendid, exciting Troubadour Theatre near White City tube captures contemporary imaginations because they can see how it works, and are gripped by the techniques.
Apart from a slowish exposition start, this is a delight of constantly inventive staging. The moment when the Darling children take off from their beds to fly to Neverland is achieved with the simplest painted placards representing windows and doors then clouds, but has real heart-raising beauty.
John Darling almost drowns in a sea of ribbons, Hook is attacked by a crocodile of corrugated sheeting, the flying is done on visible wires with human counterweights scaling shiny ladders — it’s witty, and clever, and warm.
There are some ace characterisations too. Wendy’s a robust, self-determined girl in Daisy Maywood's interpretation, which gives an extra dimension to J M Barrie’s dissection of the mother/child dynamic especially in scenes with John Pfumojena's Pan, gung-ho but insecure, and wonderfully naïve when she flirts with him.
As Mrs Darling, Kelly Price transforms into possibly the most fiercely sadistic Captain Hook imaginable, her lustrous Jaws-from-James-Bond metallic dentures are so compelling they should sell them in sets in the foyer.
Traditionally, every child gets a lump in their throat when Tinkerbell drinks the poison to save Peter, but it’s a massive tribute to Shiv Rabheru's top flight scene-stealing brattish Tink with an angry Hindi-like language all his own, that the magic still works and the children clap to believe in fairies.
So will you. Second star to the right, and straight on to Shepherd’s Bush.
Peter Pan, Troubadour White City Theatre, 201 Wood Lane, W12 7TU. Tickets £18-£69.50, until 27 October 2019.
Last Updated 29 July 2019