I want to fly! ‘Peter Pan’ at the National Theatre

This was a really good show: an original production of this very well-known story. With this showing over the christmas season, when the theatres are usually full of pantomimes, it was nice to see something different that was fun for both adults and kids, without being over the top.

The show was full of funny moments, brought about by the brilliant acting from the cast and some hilarious casting choices! For me, the actors playing Wendy and Peter were the stand-outs. The way that they performed their young characters, despite not being the youngest in the cast, was wonderful to watch and very refreshing. They seemed to embody the enthusiasm and excitement of children, but performed it as a child-like, rather than childish. (I know it doesn’t seem like a big difference, but trust me, I could feel it!)


What captured my attention most though was the flying – well, it wouldn’t be Peter Pan without flying! I actually really liked that the audience could see how the actors were flying. There were large ladder-type constructions either side of the stage, which cast members climbed up and down in harnesses, attached in a loop to the actors on-stage. They acted as counterbalances, moving  down to lift the actors up into the air. I just found it fascinating (although perhaps it was slightly distracting), and so unique. Plus, it was hard to look past the way they were flying, with the dialogue emphasising the technical elements, as Peter’s method for flying was ‘happy thoughts and fairy string‘!


The set was creative and beautiful, as expected from a National Theatre production. The originality of the chorus movements and their use of puppets too was worked in very comfortably. All in all, a very good production – both technically and the acting – and pleasantly captivating throughout.

Photos from the National Theatre website: https://www.nationaltheatre.org.uk/shows/peter-pan


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