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Dec 5th, 2015
Best bit: The Captain Hook meltdown and yelling at the audience
Any boring bits? Occasionally the jokes tend to continue for a bit long than necessary but this could very well be a personal preference
Who would like it? Kids over 10 and fans of satirical comedy
Who wouldn't like it? Those who aren't fans of slapstick, physical humour or satire. BOO.
Morning after effect: Riffling through your costume box at home for a hook to open the milk
Verdict: We give it 3.5 out of five stars
In 2015 our intrepid reviewer Wendy ventured bravely into the mayhem that is Peter Pan Goes Wrong at the Cambridge Theatre. Taking her 10-year old nephew with her, it was very much enjoyed by both parties as there was only a small number of adult-oriented jokes thrown into the mix. This time, the action takes place at the Apollo Theatre where I went with my similarly comedy-loving friend, and found ourselves choking with laughter at both the sly in-jokes and the physical chaos.
One of three shows by the aptly named Mischief Theatre Company, this is the final show for me in this holy trinity of comedies, having seen The Comedy About A Bank Robbery during the summer (also worth a look). The Peter Pan staging by the hapless takes on a very similar meta theme with the same incompetent Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society trying to stage a "serious" version of J.M.Barrie's classic, but ends up being more pantomime than serious thesp!
For those who have seen "Play", you know the drill; for others - imagine stages collapsing, headphones speaking lines to actors, a heroic stage hand, and even a brilliant blacklit scene with fluorescent fish forming hilarious and cheeky shapes! It's best to leave the very young children at home; this isn't a pantomime, and many of the jokes will go clear over their heads, as well as causing some restlessness, as was the case in the row behind us. But if you can handle fist-in-mouth cringing jokes, jaw-dropping physical comedy and are prepared to have your ribs hurt for days after? Definitely one to see this Christmas season!
Thursday 3 November, 2016
Apollo Theatre, London
The play draws from the very physical comedy style mastered in The Play That Goes Wrong and adds the well-known narrative of Peter Pan and Wendy to the mix. This makes for a great combination of laughs and familiar characters, perfect for this time of the year too when family shows are in high demand. I attended a matinee performance with my ten-year old nephew, who seemed to enjoy the on-stage hijinks and hiccups, and I was glad that adult references and bedroom humour (which writers always seem to think are vital to sneak into to any family show) were kept to a minimum.
All in all, Peter Pan Goes Wrong is an entertaining way to spend an afternoon or night - some of the pranks and gags are predictable but others coming as more of a surprise. The talent and athleticism of the cast is exceptional, with almost all scenes requiring impeccable timing in order to be pulled off properly (and avoid things going wrong for real!). By the end of the production, the performers were quite visibly tired, sweaty and breathless as they bowed for the applause. This demanding form of theatre is not for the faint-hearted and requires a lot of energy, though luckily Mischief Theatre seem to be true masters of the art.
Saturday 5th December 2015
Cambridge Theatre, London
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View our show pages for more information about Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Apollo Theatre.
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