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Review: Peter Pan Goes Wrong – hilarious am-dram escapades

A night of collapsing scenery, forgotten lines, missed cues, and faulty electrics at the New Theatre can mean only one thing: Mischief Theatre is back in town, this time with its hilarious Peter Pan Goes Wrong.

With far more enthusiasm than talent, the performers and technicians of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society treated us to the opening night of Peter Pan tonight (Tuesday November 5th) – and what a night!

The people who gave us the now legendary The Play That Goes Wrong, as well as The Comedy About a Bank Robbery, and Mischief Movie Night, can always be relied on to deliver the laughs. And this show is no exception.

The characters are brilliantly observed caricatures of am-dram types, with actor-director Chris Bean (Connor Crawford) and his assistant Robert Grove (Oliver Senton) seemingly trying to outdo each other for sheer pomposity.

Then there’s Sandra Wilkinson (Katy Daghorn), the show’s Wendy, whose over-the-top theatricals have at least two other cast members seeking her affection.

Poor Dennis Tyde (Romayne Andrews) hasn’t learned his lines, and has to have them read to him from off-stage, via very obtrusive headphones (and a lot of unwanted interference from local radio stations and taxi firms!).

And then there’s Max Bennett (Tom Babbage), who was only allowed to be involved because his rich uncle is bankrolling the show; but he secretly wants to play Peter Pan and win Sandra’s heart.

The very talented cast also includes Georgia Bradley (as Lucy, who suffers from severe stage fright), Phoebe Ellabani (as Annie, coping with multiple roles and impossibly fast costume changes), Ciaran Kellgren (as Jonathan, a high flying Peter), Ethan Moorhouse (as Trevor, the overworked stage manager), and Patrick Warner (as Francis, the long-suffering narrator), with understudies Eboni Dixon, Christian James, Soroosh Lavasani, and Ava Pickett – who all have plenty to do too.

Accidents take their toll as the show progresses, and by the interval you’re almost wondering how many of the cast will make it to the end.

This is an absolute treat for fans of physical comedy, with a stream of perfectly timed mishaps – from a faulty revolving stage to an out-of-control trapeze, and from collapsing scenery to a nasty incident with scissors!

Peter Pan Goes Wrong is directed by Adam Meggido, with set designs by Simon Scullion, whose revolving stage becomes a star of the show in its own right.

It plays at the New Theatre until Sunday. For tickets and info, visit the theatre website or phone 029 2087 8889.

Review by Andrew Weltch

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