Yet again Storm on the Lawn has provided us with a wonderful evening of entertainment. Approximately 70 young people – ages ranging from 12 – 21 take part in this marvelous production of a well-known classic. Everyone knows the story of Peter Pan – the little boy who never wants to grow up, and I suspect that deep within most of us lurks that inner child who “just wants to have fun” whether we’re 8 or 80.
This production by Bath Theatre Royal – performed in the beautiful setting of Prior Park College is magical. As Amy Leach, director, says Storm on the Law is a unique project in its scale and ambition. The aim is to take 70 young people aged between 12 to 21 and within three weeks cast, rehearse, create and perform a production of the highest professional quality.” Well let me tell you Amy you have certainly succeeded!
To take a group of young people and manage to put on such a top-class performance in three weeks is pretty exceptional. All the cast show immense maturity and control and play their parts admirably. While everyone in the production deserves a bouquet, I must mention a few who stand out from the rest. Zach Hawkins – (Peter Pan) gives an exceptional performance managing to portray the balance between mischievousness and impishness and bravery whilst also showing his caring and “lost” side. Flossie Ure’s Wendy is sensitive and touching. She displays great maturity for a 13 year old, managing to show the child Wendy but with the overtones of motherliness which draws the “lost boys” to adopt her as their mother.
Danielle Whylie as Captain Hook gives the part just the right amount of terror and humour and her fear of the sound of the ticking clock inside the crocodile comes across very well indeed. The supporting roles of the Lost Boys, the Pirates, the Indians and the chorus of children are disciplined and believable. I would like to especially mention Finn Lacey (Curly) and the Neverbird - who really catches the eye but most of all, the ear with his beautiful singing.
Productions of Peter Pan can run into difficulties when it comes to Tinkerbell – not easy to play a little fairy darting round the stage. Amy Leach gets over this problem by having two girls – Millie Bolt and Emily Clarke playing the role while carrying around a model of the fairy. The girls speak the words in unison which gives the collective voice a different feel, emphasizing that this was not a mere mortal speaking.
The music is beautifully written by Ollie Birch and fits extremely well – It never feels that the solos, chorus numbers or incidental music has been written to fill a gap.
The set – designed by Anna Michaels is just right – simple but effective. Set initially in a dormitory the various beds and cots then become part of the set for the following scenes. The scene changes, the lighting and the costumes all add to the enjoyment.
I was lucky as the weather was beautiful on review night, and so I was transported into this world of childhood adventures – what a lovely way to end a stressful day. Go and see it if you can – it’s running until Sunday 26 August. You can take all the family and I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.