If you saw The Play That Goes Wrong last year, you’ll need no urging to see this new production by the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, because Peter Pan Goes Wrong is more lavish, funnier (if that’s possible), and more frenetic than their first production. But if you haven’t seen one of their productions yet, then this is your opportunity to catch up with the rest of the world.
Probably the most incompetent theatre company in existence, the CPDC production of Peter Pan is a non-stop laugh-fest, as disaster after disaster overtake the long suffering cast. No point in describing what happens, that would spoil the fun.
Most of the cast who survived The Play That Goes Wrong have returned as their original characters, Luke Joslin as the pompous director-in-waiting, Robert Grove; Adam Dunn as the burly, besieged stage manager, Trevor Watson; and George Kemp as the world’s worst actor, Dennis Tyde, who still can’t remember his lines; Tammie Weller as the ambidextrous Annie Twilloil, barely coping with four roles as Mary Darling, Lisa, Tinker Bell and Tiger Lily; Darcy Brown barely surviving as Peter Pan; and Francine Cain as the beauteous Sandra Wilkinson, over-acting her heart out as Wendy Darling. You’d have thought they would have had enough first time around.
New to the cast are Connor Crawford hogging the limelight as the director, Chris Bean, who’s cast himself as George Darling and Captain Hook; Jordan Prosser as the devious Max Bennett languishing in the roles of Michael Darling and the crocodile; Teagan Wouters as the reluctant actor Lucy Grove, who overcomes her stage-fright and copious injuries to ultimately save the day; and jolly Jay Laga’aia who was greeted with lusty cheers from the kids in the audience as he took the stage as Francis Beaumont to narrate the play.
The revolving set is a death-trap which barely survives the show, as furniture collapses, pieces fall off, doors jam, and actors find themselves mercilessly exposed trying to make magic among the mayhem, colliding mid-air in mal-functioning flying harnesses or dodging falling stage props.
It’s all brilliantly executed, with split-second timing, combining superlative physical theatre, slapstick comedy and good old-fashioned pantomime. The kids loved it, but not nearly as much as their parents. Don’t miss it when it comes your way.
Peter Pan Goes Wrong
Canberra Theatre Centre, London Circuit, Canberra
Performance: Wednesday 6 February 2019
Season continues to 10 February 2019
Sydney Lyric Theatre, Pirrama Road, Pyrmont
Season: 13 February 2019 – 3 March 2019
His Majesty’s Theatre, Hay Street, Perth
Season: 7 – 17 March 2019
For more information, visit: www.peterpangoeswrong.com.au for details.
Image: Peter Pan Goes Wrong – photo by David Watson
Review: Bill Stephens OAM