Mischief Theatre’s most recent production, Peter Pan Goes Wrong, was hilariously intelligent, refined and, most importantly, fun for all. From the moment that you are given your programme the show has begun, and everything that could go wrong, does. It is not enough for the actors to just play characters in a production; instead, the real actors are playing actors who are playing characters. From Naomi Sheldon’s quick change of clothes scenes that result in some mild nudity and humorous results, to Matt Cavendish’s realistically poor portrayal of a man playing a dog in a stage production.
Sudden shocking moments of comedy are not lacking in this play, with some looking like serious injury could be caused were it not for the expertise they all display. There is a fantastic use of the set; especially when it is used to continually break the fourth wall. A moment that highlighted itself for me was the set rotating uncontrollably taking the actors along for the ride.
Although the storyline focused on the story of Peter Pan, much more was demanded of the actors. The subtle love story between Max (played by Cavendish) and Sandra (played by Leonie Hill) that comes to the fore in the final scenes of the show was an excellent touch of class and left the audience satisfied. Furthermore, the actors who played the technical stage production team; Trevor Watson, Fred Gray and Laura Kirman, were all phenomenal. Their constant ability to poke fun at the clichés of stage production teams, smooth transitions and faultless timing was a recurring motif that did not wear thin.
Despite the unexpected turns and consequently the non-stop laughter, the play still managed to convey a warm message. This was fully revealed at the conclusion of this comedic rollercoaster.
One audience member had seen the previous production of The Play that Goes Wrong, which was showcased at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. They said that this production was “sillier than the previous show, but still as much fun as the previous one”. Overall, this production of Peter Pan was innovative, creative and immense joy to watch.
If you would like to see this performance it is showing at the Rep theatre, Birmingham, from the 27th January to the 1st February 2015. Their next stop is Darlington.
By Greg Beavis and Jack Harrington.