Peter Pan Goes Wrong ★★★★ Lyric Theatre | Nov 23, 2023 - Jan 14, 2024

In 2014 Mischief Theatre brought its successful formula of chaos and carnage to J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan and the results have proven to be a lot of fun. Since 2010, the Mischief gang have been producing works like The Play that Goes Wrong and Magic Goes Wrong and the premise is unchanging: an inept theatre group put on a production where everything is a disaster. The sets fall apart, the props are missing and the actors can't act. There's lots of slapstick silliness and terrific physical comedy. For some, the predictability of all this may rob the experience of the element of surprise that provokes laughter, but for the fans of the franchise it always works. The antics of the bumbling cast and shambolic performance are satisfyingly familiar. While all the usual tropes are present in this particular iteration, things do seem to drag a little in Act I. One reason that the second act might work better is that we get more of the backstory of the actors. The disasters become funnier when we have some investment in the characters' personal fortunes. If humour isn't provoked by the unexpected nature of events, it can still be enriched by the audience's identification with a character's plight. All of the cast in the production bring their A game to the show. We loved both Harry Kershaw's bombastic Chris/Captain Hook and Matthew Cavendish's lovelorn Max/Crocodile. Greg Tannahill was hilarious as Jonathan/Peter Pan and Charlie Russell was a suitably twee Sandra/Wendy. Once again, Mischief Theatre delivers on its promise to deliver comic magic and mayhem, and Peter Pan Goes Wrong offers great family entertainment for the holiday season.

Rated: ★★★★

Reviewed by J.C.
Photo by Pamela Raith

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