Though they may act like it sometimes, deep down, no child (or adult!) really wants to grow up, so what musical production more fitting to stage with the younger ones than Peter Pan? The children can fly as fairies, sparkle as mermaids, run wild as lost boys and as fearsome pirates, fight with cutlasses and fantasise about slitting throats, while us adults indulge in a little harmless escapism! To Never-land!
Dramacube Productions have staged musical theatre shows with their 7-16 year old students at Hampton Hill Playhouse since July 2015, and won two Swan Awards in the interim. The two troops of student from Twickenham and Hampton Hill (soon to be three with a Kingston class starting this year) have been working hard on tonight’s production of Peter Pan all term, so the excitement of their families and friends waiting excitedly in the auditorium is palpable. Some have even brought flowers, and some pass on ‘good luck’ messages to their children, waiting impatiently in the wings. Tonight, Hampton Hill Playhouse truly has the buzz about it of a West End first night! Each troop gets two nights each this week to put all their hard work into practice, some of the larger roles are shared between two students, so they each have their own night to shine.
The hard work has paid off and director Stephen Leslie, his Dramacube team and of course the stars, the children, have collectively have produced a highly entertaining and polished production.
The script and book are a pairing of the play by J.M. Barrie and the Disney Musical, with additional lyrics and dialogue added to give it a few high-spirited modern twists. A not-so-wet Wendy observes sagely that Peter is actually rather “conceited”, and we have some fun with Tinkerbell, who can communicate only with us, the audience, and is often misunderstood by her fellows onstage, with whom she can only communicate using bells. Meanwhile a morose “rogue and peasant Hook” continually slips Hamlet’s soliloquies into his speeches, “feeling poetic, Cap’n?” Smee asks innocently, whenever this happens. Of course, it falls to two children to play the boring grown-ups but it is hard to take Mr Darling seriously when Wendy is a head taller than him! It just adds to the fun.
Read the review in full on Mark Aspen’s blog here…