Our Christmas present from my mum this year was tickets for the whole family, including her, to see the Belvoir St Theatre production of Peter Pan. She had also bought a ticket for my dad, but unfortunately he was stuck in hospital going green with envy rather than joining us tonight. This did mean we had a spare ticket, so Mum decided to offer it to a friend of hers who she thought would a) enjoy the play and b) not mind tagging along on a family outing. Mum was right on both points but had somehow managed to forget to consider c) wouldn’t mind going out socially with a 14 year old who would be in her year 9 English class in the year ahead. Luckily that was ok too, both with teacher and student!
The kids were a little bit sceptical about the likelihood of enjoying the play tonight, their reaction on being told what their Christmas present would be had been somewhat lacking in enthusiasm. They’d all been very polite though and not let on about their lack of excitement to Grandma, well trained you see.
We were seeing the first preview of the show, so were warned to expect a few rough edges and reminded to be a kind and generous audience, though I don’t think anyone needed much prompting on that score. Giggles and guffaws aplenty came from both adults and kids in the audience, I particularly enjoyed a very infectious giggler who was clearly having the time of their life and Peter’s first appearance on stage being greeted with a excited gasp of “Peter Pan!” from one young audience member.
I’m not going to tell you much about how the play was staged because a lot of the fun came from the surprises and cleverness in the way things were done. All the action took place in the Darling children’s bedroom with furniture, toys and bedding being appropriated as props and scenery in all sorts of inventive ways. The cast looked as though they were having a ball, it was very much like watching a bunch of kids playing make believe games and captured beautifully the joy of letting your imagination run wild.
We all came out of the theatre with grins on our faces, Tom (11) and Caitlin (14) said it was great and even David (15) conceded “well, that was all right.” (He confessed he’d been expecting to find himself snoring but I’d spotted him laughing a few times during the play, so I don’t think I’d have believed him if he’d said he hadn’t enjoyed it!)
Belvoir St’s website says
Parents, bring your children. Children, bring your parents. Grandparents, bring everyone!
and I reckon they’ve got that right.