THEATRE REVIEW: Peter Pan ★★★★

Peter Pan
The National Theatre, London
Saturday 4th February 2017

I’m going to head straight to the end here and say that I had to hold in so much inside of me to not cry in front of everyone in the audience. I have seen many versions of Peter Pan in the theatre but Sally Cookson’s take on this mythical adventure with our boy who refuses to grow up was the most powerful and emotionally engaging, and also is without a doubt the best thing I have ever seen at The National Theatre. I honestly do not know where to start with this production, from the bright and colourful costumes that blended so brilliantly with the incredible set pieces, and especially the reveal of Neverland, to which the cloth material background that seamlessly disappeared to reveal the Island being a moment in theatre that I shall not forget in a long time, or should we start with Anna Francolini, who for me stole the entire production with her dark and twisted take on the infamous Captain Hook.

As soon as she appeared on the stage, walking from up to down stage in complete silence, where you could almost hear a pin drop, she oozed so much twisted pain and evilness to the villain that I felt completely captivated to her character every time she appeared on stole the stage from the entire company, though this is not to say that everyone else served as second best, as I have seen many actors who have had to have chemistry on stage due to their portrayals, but the way Madeleine Worrall and Paul Hilton took on their roles of Wendy and Peter Pan was so effortless and beautiful that they almost were twins with the way their mannerisms connected with each other as they took us on their journey together! I completely adored the whole ensemble in their many characters, from Lost Boys to Pirates, Wolves to Mermaids, and especially loved Saikat Ahamed in his portrayal of Tinker Bell, who was absolutely hilarious in the role.

There were also at times during this production where I questioned this production being a family show, from the twisted version of Hook to some of the fight scenes, or just how incredibly sad at times this production was, but all of these are not a criticism on this incredible take J M Barrie’s creation as I feel this is such a perfect introduction to theatre for young children if there ever was one. I particularly loved the entrance of the Jolly Roger which rose from the stage in the second act in the form of a skip which had been decorated, one of the many times during this production where I really felt like I was watching an incredible masterpiece on stage thanks to Michael Vale’s twisted set design.

There are so many other aspects of this production I can talk about, but it would be a repetition of praise throughout, as I cannot pinpoint a single thing that I did not enjoy about this whole experience, which just fully took advantage of everything that The National Theatre have to offer, and sadly this production ends today on 4th February 2017, so not only do I feel incredibly lucky that I got to watch this truly incredible piece of theatre on stage, but I also know that on 10th June 2017 I shall be sitting down in my local cinema to travel with Peter Pan and Wendy on this adventure again all thanks to National Theatre Live, where tickets will go on sale soon!


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