Classic Peter Pan has something for everyone
Hamilton Playbox, Peter Pan, opening night Saturday, July 7, reviewed by Geoff Lewis.
“Do you believe in fairies?” That’s the question asked in the Hamilton Playbox production of J.M. Barrie’s classic Peter Pan.
Putting aside reality is essential as the audience settles into a storyline that starts in the nursery of a well-to-do London family. There, the slumbers of children Wendy, John and Michael are interrupted by the arrival of the mischievous Peter Pan, who just flies in the window.
Peter had been eavesdropping on Wendy’s wonderful bedtime stories and decided she should join him to be ‘mother’ to his gang of Lost Boys.
From there the adventures start and head off onto the island of Neverland where Pan, the boys, and the Indians battle the evil Captain Hook.
There’s plenty of action, chases and dogged fights with the rowdy crew of cutlass-waving no-goods.
But good prevails, the underdog wins, the tables are turned on the villain as Hook goes over the side with his own bomb to become dinner for his nemesis, the ticking crocodile.
Playbox’s version of Peter Pan follows Barrie’s original and has been a return to a loved childhood tale for director Lorna Ashton.
“When Playbox suggested I do another production with a mixed cast of adults and children I instantly thought of Peter Pan .I particularly wanted to do the original J.M. Barrie story so the actors could let their imaginations fly.”
While staying close to the original script, Ashton’s direction sews in modern effects including funky bits of techno and one of those nifty palm-sized drones which personifies the spirit Tinkerbell.
Congratulations to leads, brother and sister Paris and Jessica Eyeington, Chris Lockley as Captain Hook and the charming Rhys Mathews as Michael for their performances — and to the innovative set makers.
Directed by Lorna Aston and narrated by Graham Pollard. Playbox’s production of Peter Pan has something for everyone and can be experienced at the Riverlea Theatre, 83 Riverlea Rd, Hamilton until July 21.
■ Tickets available online at www.iticket.co.nz or through the theatre 07 856 5450, matinee performances Sat 14 and 21, Thursday night special family prices. Dinner available Friday and Saturday, children’s and adults’ menu. www.playbox.org.nz for details.
Chris Lockley as Captain Hook and Paris Eyeington as Peter Pan.