Christmas play review by Julia Pattison: Peter Pan at Hull Truck Theatre

This fast-moving, fresh take on J.M. Barrie's much loved tale can't help but fill you with hope and joy.
This fast-moving, fresh take on J.M. Barrie's much loved tale can't help but fill you with hope and joy.

Christmas Show: Peter Pan

Venue: Hull Truck Theatre

Dates: Until Saturday, January 4, 2020

Review by: Julia Pattison

Following on from the huge success of Hull Truck Theatre’s Oliver Twist, writer Deborah McAndrew has returned with a brand-new adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s classic tale, Peter Pan, and what a delightful adaptation it was, giving you the opportunity to let your imagination fly, whatever your age.

I attended Press Night on Tuesday, December 3, and would say that there were many more adults than children in the audience, testament to the quality of Hull Truck festive productions. Having said that, it was a joy, once again, to see families out together, enjoying the special magic that good live theatre creates.

Directed by Mark Babych, with music by John Biddle, we were soon whisked away into Neverland, as Wendy (wonderfully portrayed by Vanessa Schofield) was literally swept off her feet by the mysterious Peter Pan, played by charismatic Baker Mukasa, who made clambering up and around on a long floor to ceiling drape look deceptively easy!

What a delight this production was, from the talented cast (Joanna Holden unashamedly stole the show at times as pocket-sized, mischievous Tinker Bell) to the imaginative set and lighting (Ciaran Bagnall).

Ryan O’Donnell commanded the space as Captain Hook, and had a wicked twinkle in his eye, with his sidekicks Smee (Michael Butler) and Starkey (Aron Dochard) providing great comic entertainment, along with some pretty natty dance moves and sea shanties, yo ho!

All credit too for the imaginative use of the aisles (especially the covered walkway into the theatre). Particular highlights were the appearances of the Crocodile and a pirate ship in full sail – magic!

J.M. Barrie loved children, and very generously made his gift of the copyright of Peter Pan to Great Ormond Street Hospital for Children in London, in 1929. His story is still enchanting children and adults alike and so will continue to help forever towards making the hospital “the incredible centre of hope it is today”.

This fast-moving, fresh take on J.M. Barrie’s much loved tale can’t help but fill you with hope and joy. What a wonderful start to the festive season.