Peter Pan Goes Wrong

"Crazy, chaotic comedy gold"

Peter Pan Goes Wrong is a riotous and uproarious theatrical production that takes the timeless tale of Peter Pan and adds a hefty dose of calamity and chaos. This hilarious show, created by the acclaimed British theatre company Mischief Theatre, unleashes pandemonium on the stage as the classic story of the boy who never grows up spirals into an absolute comedy of errors. With a cast of well-meaning, yet accident-prone actors, Peter Pan Goes Wrong promises a side-splitting journey through the mishaps, mayhem, and merriment of a Peter Pan performance gone spectacularly awry.

As you walk into the auditorium and as is synonymous with other Mischief Theatre productions, the performers are milling about looking for a lost item, this time a hammer.  A performer is already on stage trying to mend the dodgy wiring and you are instantly invested.  Thus starts the many moments of audience interaction which brings delight to everyone watching. From start to finish, this show had me laughing.  There is pure genius in making a show go wrong, but in the right way, despite the actual moment when something did go wrong and we had a short show stop, however that added to the hilarity even more!

The cast are run ragged with many moments of physical comedy, props falling on them and getting stuck in doors.  My overall feeling with most Mischief Theatre productions is sympathy with the set dresser, who has to tidy up after each performance, as the stage quite literally looks like a bomb has hit it by the end!

We are advised by the Director of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, Chris Bean (Jack Michael Stacey) at the start of the show that this is not a pantomime……queue the obvious call out of ‘oh yes it is’.  This provided much hilarity in many moments scattered throughout the show, especially when Stacey who doubles up as Captain Hook was trying to get the top off a bottle and an audience member shouted out “do you need a hand”.  Now, whether this was set up or not, it provided rapturous applause and laughter throughout the theatre, and this was the theme of the evening, laughter aplenty and aching jaws from smiling.

Each and every performer is a master of their craft.  This show is so full on, but the quality of performance never wains. The energy is as high at the start as the end.  A special mention goes to Clark Devlin who plays Dennis and takes on the roles of John Darling, Mermaid and Mr Smee.  His comic timing was perfect as he stepped on stage wearing large headphones due to his lack of line learning.  The use of the headphones to feed him his lines was hilarious especially when interference through the airwaves took hold and he was reciting Uber taxis arriving, football scores and even arguments between the backstage staff.  If he heard it, he said it!

The set designed by Simon Scullion consisted of a stage revolve where we found ourselves in the Darling’s bedroom, the magical world of Neverland and a pirate ship.  Seamless in its movement, this set is full of things that ‘go wrong’ and work so incredibly well to provide a sense of chaos and carnage especially during the final scene as the revolve takes on a life of its own and spins round and round taking the performers with it.

There are many stand out moments in this show, including a scene in the darkness with fluorescent fish and mermaids as Peter and Wendy are transported underwater.  The movements from the performers on stage was, as you may have guessed, chaotic, with them dropping props and scrambling around when the lights came on to spoil the illusion.  It’s hard to mention all the moments that had the whole audience in fits of laughter, because the show is full of them!  There were many children in the audience at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre who were all revelling in the action on stage and it’s the perfect show for half term.

Having seen many Mischief Theatre shows previously I knew I was in for an evening of fun, however I think Peter Pan Goes Wrong is my new favourite of the franchise and I would happily visit the madness again!

This show was reviewed on the 30th October.  Peter Pan Goes Wrong runs at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre until the 4th November 2023.  Tickets available here: PETER PAN GOES WRONG | Wolverhampton Grand Theatre

Full touring details here: PeterPanGoesWrong UK Tour (mischiefcomedy.com)

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Photo credit: Pamela Raith

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