THEATRE REVIEW: Peter Pan Goes Wrong ★★★★★

Peter Pan Goes Wrong
Birmingham REP Theatre
27th January 2015

Right from the start, even before curtain up, Mischief Theatre's take on this fantasy tale is a laugh-a-minute production, with the cast coming out into the auditorium whilst the audience are taking their seats, and already started causing mischief and mayhem, such as singing Happy Birthday to a member of the audience, having a row with a group of teenagers about turning their phones off, or just messing about with seats, duct taping and putting caution signs out.

We are introduced to our first two characters, Robert the Director and his right-hand man Chris, who have the audience in stitches as they retell the tales of their bad effects of previous productions, such as Oliver the Musical, and their previous pantomime, which due to budget cuts, was entitled Jack and the Bean. It was a perfect start to the show, mirroring the start of their hugely successful 'The Play that Goes Goes'. It had the audience in just the right atmosphere and state of mind that would soon continue throughout the whole show.

So as the title suggests, this wasn't going to be like any other production. This production was to go wrong, and did it live up to it's name; with set and props falling apart, harnesses ripping off the actors bodies, characters being trapped under set and, probably the highlight of the first act, Nana the Dog being trapped inside the door flap. I think this worked perfectly, especially because we were to soon sympathise with the actor of Nana, who was Max. Throughout the whole play, there was a love triangle between Jonathan and Sandra, Peter and Wendy, and Max. This is all carried right through to the final moment of the show, and I believe that the audience will enjoy the outcome of this subplot and be left satisfied.

Before all of that though, there was even more mischief, with unexpected explosions directed from Francis, our narrator of the show, who entered from the left, almost like any good character in pantomime would. The reputation of cab noises, after a spillage of substances on the sound desk, Lights not going out in time for a UV scene, and coming up too early, where more of the many deliberate mistakes in a show that was jam packed was entertainment. It all proved how focused every actor must of been in the rehearsal period, as the show is a very demanding track, which also has to deal with a revolving set as the production enters it’s final conclusion.

Overall, Peter Pan goes Wrong is one of the funniest productions I have ever seen. Filled with the finest of stagecraft and musicality involving cleverly written lyrics, the show will be sure to have audiences in fits of laughter and cheering for more from a company in which never seems to slow down.


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