|Date||16th March 2017|
|Society||React Youth Theatre|
|Venue||Empire Theatre Consett|
|Type of Production||Musical|
|Musical Director||Ashleigh Harrison|
Author: Michelle Coulson
This full length musical version of the Peter Pan story with music by George Stiles and lyrics by Anthony Drewe was a version I had not previously seen, the music seemed challenging and written for mature voices and it was evident that this young company had worked very hard to present the magical tale. The five piece band under the baton of Jonny Winter sounded very good and provided great accompaniment.
A lot of thought had been given to using various stage levels for performance and the set and lighting worked very well to create the transformation from London to Neverland with the flying sequence looking especially magical. The costumes also added to the magic of the show with everyone looking the part.
The enthusiasm of the young cast was apparent throughout the performance as they transformed from Londoners to pirates, warriors, lost boys and mermaids. All of the many cameo roles were well played and gave very good support to the main principals especially Nana played by Ellie Cole, Tiger Lily played by Katie Waites and there were hilarious performances from Lydia Peacock as the crocodile and James Grainger as Starkey.
The tale was narrated by a mysterious storyteller played by Jackson Dobson who portrayed the role with feeling and the twist at the end of the story was nicely done. Lucy Davison as the mischievous Tinkerbell gave a super performance and managed to portray her feelings well with only the use of body language. The Darling family were ably played by Hannah Forster as John, Connie Lee as Michael, Victoria Simmons as Mrs Darling and Lily-Rose Harrop as Wendy; Lily-Rose did a good job of becoming “mother “ to the lost boys and best friend to Peter. Emily Donnelly gave a very good portrayal of Captain Hook’s side kick Smee and was the perfect counterpart to the mean man himself, Captain James Hook, played by Samuel Donnelly. Samuel gave a very strong performance and he relished in his characters of Hook and Mr Darling playing both very well with good diction and stage presence. In the title role of Peter Pan Eleanor Grainger shone, she gave a confident and energetic performance commanding the stage every time she appeared.
It is a pleasure to see this group of young people improve with every performance growing in confidence and skill and their energy and enjoyment is tangible.
Congratulations to the whole team for a magical evening.