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01 June 2012



Peter Pan
cut to the chase...
Friday 1st June 2012

cut to the chase... have chosen to see in the Summer with a production for children straddled around the May half term holiday, and although most often performed at Christmas, Peter Pan is always a popular choice.
Vicky Ireland's adaptation, with music by Steven Markwick, opens in Kensington Gardens with J. M. Barrie revealing his new story to the three wide-eyed children, who are also it's protagonists.  As the story gradually unfolds and we are introduced to more and more characters, so the action seamlessly continues and we remain throughout in Kensington Park.  

The set is smartly designed, to offer enough flexibility to depict aspects of Neverland; stair pillars become chimneys, the park pond becomes a mermaid's lagoon; but maintain a solidity to hold Peter Pan as he gracefully leaps about the whole space.  

Musical numbers were in abundance and I especially liked the whole scene of Building a Wendy House.  The flying was brief but graceful, costumes were traditional and colourful, especially Captain Hook's wonderful red coat, and despite some erratic moments with the remote controlled crocodile all production aspects were of the high quality cut to the chase... are known for.

Peter Pan was brought to magical life with an Irish lilt by Dylan Kennedy, who maintained a loud, energetic clarity and moved with such agility that it was as though he was flying throughout.  The three Darling children brought a juvenile innocence to their performances that gave them each a charm and individuality, Wendy (Kate Robson-Stuart), kind and bossy, John (Matthew James Hinchliffe), smart and sober, Michael (Greg Last), the teddy laden baby.  Captain Hook was taken on by a straight-faced Jonathan Markwood, who also opened and closed the production as the Scottish J. M. Barrie, and his sidekick Smee was playfully portrayed by Simon Jessop - by far the funniest character and thus best received by the junior section of the audience.  Tinkerbell was kept to a single light and accompanying sound effect - exactly as she should be - operated by Natasha Moore who also made a striking Tiger Lily.  The Lost Boys, Pirates and other remaining parts were doubled by the hard working Alison Thea-Skot, Callum Hughes and Sam Kordbacheh who did the best job of the lot with embodying his inner child.

A traditional but fairly simple adaptation made for a truly magical production to have graced the stage at Queen's this Summer - I for one certainly believe in fairies!

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