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Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens at Drayton Arms Theatre

Peter Pan in Kensington GardensPeter Pan in Kensington Gardens, is a 60-minute two-hander, based on J.M.Barrie’s own prequel to the better-known adventures of Peter and Wendy, and the far more famous Peter Pan.

Betwixt-and-Between productions have adapted this little-known story for what they believe is the very first time on stage. It’s evidently a project they have thrown their hearts into and there’s so much to enjoy about this small glimpse into what sometimes feels like the starter play for Peter Pan. You can see all the ideas forming, the back story of Peter Pan, the beginnings of the detail of Neverland and the theme of mothers and lost children all coming together. Charlotte Ellen and Daniel Arbon play Mary and George (and a host of other characters) with a joyful playfulness that invites the audience to follow them into their make-believe worlds. There’s lots of imagination in this production, some lovely use of puppetry and brilliant lighting and sound effects, so that in spite of all the changing characters and stories within stories, we never lose sight of where we are.

The premise is simple enough, George waits patiently in the park for his daughter Mary to arrive. Mary is running away – so that she doesn’t ever have to grow up. Rather than drag her home George encourages Mary to set up her camp, all the while telling her stories of other children who have stayed out overnight in the park.

Mary’s a keen participant of these stories and it’s quickly evident that this is how father and daughter relate to each other. As they follow each other into their world of invention you get a real sense of JM Barrie’s wit and talent for the slightly surreal.

Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens runs at Edinburgh Festival Fringe at Venue 9: thespace @ Niddry Street at 10am from 2nd-17th August (Not 11th).

4 stars

Review by Roz Wyllie

It’s a name that stirs up dreams of adventure in the minds of children and the young at heart the world over; but whilst we all love the stories of ‘the Boy who wouldn’t grow up’, how many of us know how a boy called Peter became Peter Pan? This 60 minute, two-hander, based on J.M.Barrie’s prequel, explores the story behind the legend. Introducing a host of new characters; from the wise-old crow to the Queen of the Fairies, Peter Pan in Kensington Gardens charts Peter’s journey from the nursery to Neverland, through the imaginations of Mary and her father George, as they explore the age old question of what it really means to grow up.

CAST
MARY/PETER – Charlotte Ellen
GEORGE/ OTHER – Daniel Arbon

Written and Directed by Charlotte Ellen
Co-Producer Daniel Arbon
Production Advisor Louise Pearson
Sound Design/Composer Elliott Wallis
Assistant Director Charlotte Harris
Movement Director Lily Howkins
Set Build Daniel Arbon
Puppets Helen Webb

More information about the company and the show can be found at:
https://www.betwixt-and-between.co.uk/

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