Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Peter Pan @ Grand Canal Theatre

I saw Peter Pan last night with a group of friends - none of us are children, who are mostly definitely the target audience of this production.  And the kids loved it.  This is a new musical version of the story with present day London taking the place of Edwardian London.  I wasn't mad about the songs - they were fairly bland and forgettable, though the music to Never stop telling the stories was stuck in my head afterwards.  Wendy and Peter were played by adults but unlike a lot of other theatre productions, Peter is played by a man.  Many of the adults double up on roles, with Mr Darling & Captain Hook being played by Ben Richards (the standout performance) and Maureen Nolan playing the mother & the head mermaid.  The mermaid scene, which is just a song, is totally inexplicable and seems out of context, even though there is a mermaid chapter in the original story.  I loved the set, it was wonderful -  the various pieces were on tracks which moved smoothly around and off the stage.  They had a filmed backdrop which worked well too.  The pirates were my favourite part.  I know it's wrong to want them to win, but I did.  They sang and danced in an unexpected fashion.  To be fair, the whole pirate theme owed a lot to a post-Capt. Jack Sparrow world but it worked. 

Many of the Lost Boys were played by Irish children and the two actors playing Michael Darling are too.  The rest of the cast was English, with Les Dennis being the most famous, and fairly unrecognisable as Smee. 

One technical criticism, which I also remember saying about the last thing I saw in the Grand Canal Theatre, was that the music was too loud at times and you couldn't hear the lyrics clearly.  This wouldn't be so bad in a familiar story but with new music, we do want to hear what they're singing.  Turn up the mikes, turn down the orchestra, please!

So net result: bring your kids but don't expect a multi-layered Pixar-like production for the adults.  It's running until 6th August with nightly and matinee performances with tickets available from the usual places.


  1. Are all the singers called Mike? ;-)

  2. Absolutely Shite!!!! I had the devastatingly unfortunate experience of seeing this repulsive spectacle of tripe. A 70 year old Nolan sister (how many of them are there?????) wrapping her wrinkly arms around her 30 year old husband, while the 40 year old Wendy prances around in a cheap yellow pyjama suit. As for Peter (wet blanket) Pan..what can I say.. bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad bad.. and as for the cost of the tickets, absolutely disgusting, rip off Ireland does it again!!! Another reason for children to miss out on live performance and run back and hug the dvd player/playstation.. Awful, if you have any taste, avoid at all cost!

  3. Absolutely loved it. My kids aged 4 and 7 adored it and were into it fully from the get go. The sets were brilliant and songs fun. Pirates were alot if fun. Ignore the naysayers and just go and enjoy a fun family play