Peter Pan at Troubadour White City Theatre
Director Sally Cookson’s interpretation of Peter Pan is full of energy, excitement and oozing with hipness as it tries to keep up with the politics of the times. This enchanting, interactive and exceptionally thrilling show is guaranteed to have viewers laughing, looking around the brand new theatre while barely able to stay seated, and even clapping along with Peter Pan, whose repeated chanting of “I do believe in fairies!” brings back to life the effervescent little Tinkerbell (Shiv Rabheru).
John Pfumojena as Peter Pan, Kelly Price as Captain Hook and Rabheru as the adorable Tinkerbell are by far the highlight of the performance, which blends singing, dancing, flying and play in an amalgam of the perfect childhood dream. Pan tells Wendy (Daisy Maywood) that “girls are 20 times better than boys”, which seems to please the excitable little girl so much that she becomes overwhelmed with love for him. This is a droll on the fun and playful nature of a story about children who do not grow up, unless they return home to their mothers. Pan apparently falls out of his pram – or flies out of the window – when he hears his parents plan out his future, and when he returns home to barred windows with another child in his bed, his faith in a mother’s love is lost. This reference is made in the play that also returns to James Matthew Barrie’s original conception of Captain Hook as a woman. In this performance, Price is both Hook and Mrs Darling, the children’s mother – a blurring of the distinction between the parent for whom they long and the villain, who is feared by all but Pan, that echoes Barrie’s original title: Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Hated Mothers.
In a moment that is reminiscent of Tennessee Williams’s Blanche, Wendy, in reverse, turns the light on – against Pan’s wishes – to reveal to him how much she has grown as she tells him that she is now mother to a little girl who Peter agrees to take away with him. Knowing that the child is likely to fall in love with Pan, just like her mother did, makes this very awkward and out of touch with the first part of the play. This second part is ostensibly an unnecessary addition that lets down an otherwise well-rounded, spectacularly fun, and brilliantly engaging performance.
Photo: Steve Tanner
Peter Pan is at Troubadour White City Theatre from 22nd July until 27th October 2019. Book your tickets here.
Watch the trailer for Peter Pan here: