Peter Pan adapted for Ai­dan

South Canterbury Herald - - TEMUKA NEWS - ES­THER ASHBY-COVEN­TRY

Just like any new prod­uct, plays are also tested - on the­atri­cal con­sumers.

Ti­maru’s Ai­dan The­atre is of­fer­ing the first taste of a New Zealand re­write of Peter Pan.

Orig­i­nally writ­ten by J M Bar­rie, Peter Pan has been adapted by former Wood­bury di­rec­tor and writer Fiona McKen­zie, who is now based in Christchurch.

Ai­dan The­atre di­rec­tor Kim­ble Hen­der­son, and her cast, have de­vised the adap­ta­tion.

It was about test­ing the play and get­ting feed­back, both pos­i­tive and neg­a­tive, Hen­der­son said.

‘‘We take the feed­back and go over it to see what’s use­ful, what worked, and what didn’t.’’

She said some plays re­quired a few sea­sons to be so­lid­i­fied.

The col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween Hen­der­son and McKen­zie came about when they both agreed it was some­thing they would like to do.

‘‘I have al­ways been fas­ci­nated by Peter Pan, a boy who did not want to grow up, and had ques­tions about who he was.’’

The re­write was fun and playful and pro­gressed as the cast pro­gressed, which made the col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween di­rec­tor and writer in­ter­est­ing, Hen­der­son said.

McKen­zie, who has writ­ten for tele­vi­sion and trained as a di­rec­tor at South Pa­cific Pic­tures

, said adapt­ing the fa­mous story was a daunt­ing prospect at first.

‘‘Be­cause the story it­self isn’t that linear, in a tra­di­tional ‘be­gin­ning, mid­dle, end’ way.’’

A turn­ing point came when she re­alised the only way to treat the play was to give in to the fact it was just a game.

‘‘Ev­ery­thing is a game, and ev­ery­one’s play­ing. Ev­ery­one. And Peter’s the boss of the game.

‘‘Peter’s mak­ing it up as he goes along and they’re all go­ing along with it.

‘‘And once I re­alised that, the non­sense all made sense.’’

The role of Peter Pan will be played by Ash­ton Buck­ing­ham, of Wai­mate. The show’s sea­son runs from Oc­to­ber 10-15. Tick­ets are avail­able from New­mans Mu­sic Works - $15 adult and $5 chil­dren and stu­dents.

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