Paul Hendy’s version of Peter Pan for Evolution Productions incorporates considerable chunks of Barrie’s settings and dialogue, though unaccredited, into a near-pantomime format. It works very well with Helga Wood’s sets and costumes complemented by some excellent animated sequences by Accolade Productions – Tinkerbell is a mischievious twinkling light, projections take us over London by night and Peter really engages with his elusive shadow.
As in the original play, Peter is played by a girl in the brisk shape of Katy Ashworth, red hair en brosse and running rings around mere mortals. Larry Lamp is the irascible Mr Darling and a somewhat genial Captain Hook, pursued by a very handsome green crocodile. Ben Roddy plays Smee and is also the show’s director; Sarah Whittuck (who has two sons in the juvenile cast) is a very estuary-English mermaid, the Red Indian chief and Mrs Darling.
Lindsay Harding’s no-nonsense Wendy has a good singing voice, letting rip for “Rule Britannia” on board the Jolly Roger. The energetic choreography is by Loveday Chamberlain, who plays Tigerlily. Michael Roulston’s hard-working band is tucked into a corner of the Alban Arena circle and provides a suitable mix of tunes and sound effects.