Peter Pan, University Drama Studio
SuTCo’s ultimate show of the semester is a success. Wendy and her brothers Michael and John prepare for bed while their mother, Mrs Darling sings them a lullaby.
Soon however Peter Pan whisks the children off to Neverland to meet The Lost Boys, mermaids, pirates and Indians. Tom Dixon is excellent as Peter Pan. His wide-eyed innocence is tinged with sadness as he only recognises maternal feelings towards women. He is oblivious to Wendy’s romantic feelings, as well as those of Tinkerbell and Tiger Lily.
Author Barrie alludes to a spiritual understanding of Neverland. Perhaps it’s a place where we go when we sleep. We can fly, eat imaginary food and of course not die. Clever dual casting in the vein of The Wizard of Oz has Paul Hillier as austere father Mr Darling and dastardly Captain Hook; Bethan Ratcliffe as kindly Mrs Darling and a beautiful Mermaid and James Travers as cute dog Nana and lovable pirate Smee.
Katy Robinson is well cast as Wendy. She is at turns frustrated and thankful for her platonic friendship with Peter and has a sweet natured final scene with her own daughter, Jane, played by Jade Richards, who also narrates.
Supporting actors Sarah Sharp and Ollie Raggett are effective as Wendy’s brothers Michael and John. Set Designer Dorrit Pollard-Davey has given us a fine vision of Neverland as well as The Darling bedroom.
Bizarre moment prize goes to the audience member who shouted “I believe (in fairies)” drawing spontaneous applause as Peter tried to rouse a dying Tinkerbell.