Tuesday, 26 May 2015

Review: Peter Pan at the Regent's Park Open Air Theatre​

Peter Pan 
Regent's Park Open Air Theatre​
Reviewed on Friday 22nd May 2015

Directed by Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel, Peter Pan is the best production I have ever seen at the Open Air Theatre. Beautifully complimented by the outdoor setting, Jon Bausor's design is stunningly creative, allowing audiences of all ages to use their imaginations.

Sheader and Steel re-imagine JM Barrie’s piece to the First World War. The interpretation is a smart move; once the first scene - set in a military hospital - is over the new context doesn't overpower the story, in fact it allows the opening section to move along faster. 

Hiran Abeysekera gives an extraordinary performance in the title role, playing Peter Pan with a twinkle in his eye. Abeysekera flies around, gliding through the air, showcasing remarkable strength and agility whilst making it all look so easy. Kae Alexander is utterly charming as Wendy whilst stand outs also include David Birrell as Captain Hook and Beverly Rudd as Smee.

The true star of the show is the crocodile which makes quite an impression during the evening's final moments - sat near the front I thought I was about to be gobbled up! Puppetry is greatly underused in theatre, so it's wonderful to see a production using it so inventively with such talented puppeteers. 

Kids will find Peter Pan captivating whilst grownups will enjoy seeing such a well-loved story presented with a slight twist. Sheader and Steel's production features inventive, top notch storytelling. It is spectacularly impressive and inspiringly magical. Peter Pan is certainly deserving of more than a four week run - let's hope it returns!

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Peter Pan runs at the Open Air Theatre until Sunday 14th June 2015.
Please visit www.openairtheatre.com for further information and tickets.

Photo Credit: Tristram Kenton

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