Peter Pan

September 29, 2015

Peter Pan: An Awfully Big Adventure

by Conor O'Sullivan

in Productions

We believe in fairies!

If you were one of the people who came to see Peter Pan at the Rhodes over the last couple of weeks then we hope you feel the same way! Bringing one of the most timeless and magical children’s stories to life on the Rhodes stage was a lot of fun, as Peter Pan whisked Wendy Darling and her two brothers John and Michael off to the Neverland, inhabited by the Lost Boys, a tribe of Indians and the nefarious Captain Hook and his motley crew of Pirates. Here’s some of the feedback we received from reviews:

‘Peter Pan was the type of show that every child and every adult could wish for. Enchanting, engaging, and hugely entertaining.’ – YourHarlow

‘They were whisked (to Neverland) by Bishops Stortford and Harlow’s Phoenix Theatre, a supremely talented group of Herts & Essex youngsters.’ – Herts and Essex Observer

‘Bearing in mind that the cast is taken largely from the local Phoenix Theatre School, I was blown away by not only the quality of the performances but the confidence that was coming off the lot of ‘em, even down to the littlest cast members.’ – MuddyStilettos

Phoenix student Kali Dronsfield led the cast playing the title role of Peter Pan; mixing boyish charm, youthful arrogance, teenage stroppyness and boundless energy very well. This was complimented by fellow Phoenix student Gabriella Morgan in her portrayal of sweet, caring and imaginative Wendy Darling and the two created a complicated and genuinely touching relationship. Phoenix Principal Phil Dale was up to his villainous ways once again playing Mr Darling in the first scene and then becoming Peter Pan’s arch enemy Captain Hook once we’d arrived at Neverland. Tinkerbell, played by Phoenix students Tegan Griffiths and Jessica Forman, who performed 5 shows each as Peter Pan’s best friend and mischievous fairy, really won the audience over and had a long queue of youngsters wanting a selfie taken with her as she came out and played with them during the interval. Drew Gregg also deserves a mention for his comical performance as Nana the dog, and also the lead puppeteer of the crocodile. With the rest of the ensemble of Lost Boys, Pirates and Indians also made up mostly with students from the Phoenix Theatre School we’d like to say a huge well done to all of them involved, as their hard work and dedication to the story really helped to entice the audience into the magical world of Neverland.

Designed by Anna Stamper in her first production working with Phoenix Theatre Arts, the set was beautiful. One reviewer said that ‘The set for the bedroom was gorgeous, with elements of it re-appearing throughout, bringing out that whole dream-like quality from the book.’ With a UV painted Indian teepee, a big set piece of a pirate ship in the second half and also a moon that hung at the back throughout most of the show, Anna’s design really helped add to the magical feeling of the show. Once again it was all lit beautifully by lighting designer Rob Dyer, and the choreography by Phoenix tutor Katie Barker-Dale was extremely strong, especially the upbeat tribal Indian number. The costumes provided by Jules Dale were vibrant and colourful, distinguishing each of the different groups in Neverland well. Directed by the Head of Phoenix Youth Theatre Jeanne Stacey, the story was both moving and funny; we know that there are thousands of people in the Bishops Stortford area that now believe in fairies!

To read the reviews, please follow the links below:

To see pictures from the show, click here.