Sally Cookson’s production of J.M.Barrie’s classic story officially opens the Troubadour White City Theatre. Love London Love Culture rounds up the reviews.
London Theatre1: *** “if you’re a literary purist and want to explore the darker psychological tensions of the JM Barrie original text, you may well enjoy the depth and duration of this production. However, if you’re considering bringing children under 10, have a think about their attention spans.”
Johnny Fox.co.uk: ***** “Apart from a slowish exposition start, this is a delight of constantly inventive staging. The moment when the Darling children take off from their beds to fly to Neverland is achieved with the simplest painted placards representing windows and doors then clouds, but has real heart-raising beauty.”
The Observer: *** “The flying is great fun to behold but the show is less compelling when their feet touch the ground. For in spite of ingenious ideas (possibly too many, with insufficient editing) and a talented cast, the production is, at the moment, incohesive and sometimes drags. I do, to some extent, blame the venue.”
The Guardian: **** “The stand-out performance comes from Shiv Rabheru as Tinkerbell, who is radically reconceived as a male fairy wearing wings on a harness and speaking in fairy language that seems to resemble Italian. His comic malevolence is both delightful and shocking and never fails to entertain. Alongside Price’s superbly baroque Hook, naughtiness, dark mischief and evil steal this show and give it dangerous charisma.”
WhatsOnStage: *** “the magic moments are bitty on the bigger stage at the Troubadour, and while the new venue has a lot of potential, this version of Barrie’s text just drags a bit too much to ever truly take flight.”
Evening Standard: ** “Despite the energy of the cast and those moments of airborne delight — flashes in the Pan, if you like — it drags. If I were a child, I doubt this would make me believe in fairies.”
London Box Office: *** “Visually stunning but there was certainly an element of fun missing from this trip to Neverland.”
The Stage: **** ” the production remains engaging and entertaining, with John Pfumojena an enigmatic and brilliant Peter Pan.”
The Telegraph: **** “Clap your hands if you believe in theatres. When it comes to new venues a spirit of confidence is abroad, soaring above the clouds of pessimism generated by the stormy political climate of the past few years.”
The Upcoming: **** “John Pfumojena as Peter Pan, Kelly Price as Captain Hook and Rabheru as the adorable Tinkerbell are by far the highlight of the performance, which blends singing, dancing, flying and play in an amalgam of the perfect childhood dream.”
A Younger Theatre: *** “At its core, Peter Pan is a family adventure that sets alight the wonder in minds young and old. Although we are all well acquainted with the story of the boy who never grows up, the performance is not trying to be ground-breaking, just entertaining. With its absurdity, mirth and, at times, campiness, it succeeds.”
The Reviews Hub: **** “The ageless appeal of Peter Pan relies not only on fantasy and spectacle, which this production delivers in abundance but also on the manner in which the story connects with common experience. Cookson’s eccentric revival never loses sight of Barrie’s affirmation that real life, even though it includes growing old, must be better than Neverland.”
British Theatre Guide: “This simplicity leads to surprises and they joyfully keep on coming. This is a Peter Pan free of soft sentimentality. It belatedly got even me clapping for Tink’s life (if he is a fairy, he is a wicked Elizabethan one) and with real enthusiasm for them all at curtain call, including the operators of the flying equipment and the inventive puppetry designed by Toby Olié.”
Peter Pan continues to play at the Troubadour White City Theatre until the 27th October.