Why you MUST get a ticket for this amazing new Derby show

This post first appeared on Derby Telegraph. Read the original article.

Christmas is a time which can bring out the inner child in all of us and Derby Theatre’s festive production of Peter Pan immediately invites its audience to connect with this idyllic place of adventure and fun.

Unconventionally, it opens with Peter Pan and the Lost Boys in Neverland singing the anthem Never Growing Up.

And so we tumble into a world of fantasy and play, where reality becomes blurred and everything is possible.

Characters flit seamlessly between roles as they start to question what mothers and fathers are like, then drift into enacting the story of the Darling family; tracing Wendy, John and Michael’s flight from their London home to Neverland.

The colourful and humorous scenes which follow contain all the joyous fun and imagination of childhood, whilst gently exploring the on-going transitions and juxtapositions of what it means to be a child, and to be an adult.

Peter Pan at Derby Theatre

Peter Pan at Derby Theatre

Mike Kenny’s stage adaptation of JM Barrie’s well-loved novel, delivers characters that are well fleshed-out and brought right up-to-date.

Derby actor Esme Sears heads-up a band of Punky fairies as Tinkerbell, while Sally Ann Staunton does a sterling job of portraying a feistier versions of Wendy. Although willing to take on the mantle of trying to "mother" the Lost Boys, we soon discover that Wendy is equally adept at picking up a sword as she is with a needle sewing Peter’s shadow back on.

In a wonderfully humorous song Captain Hook (played with relish by Neal Craig) reveals his own frustrations with having to always be the leader; an adult, stuck in a world of free-spirited children.

Jack Quarton also captures the dilemma of Nana, the family dog and nanny, with expert comic timing. While trying hard to remain grown-up, instil discipline and always be alert to danger, he still can’t resist rolling around the floor and having his tummy tickled.

Peter Pan at Derby Theatre

Peter Pan at Derby Theatre

Even the Darling parents flit between their adult roles and their own flights of childhood fancy. Mrs Darling’s exuberant story-telling enables her to dip into a world of excitement, while Mr Darling openly tantrums about taking his medicine and takes his crossness out on the children and Nana.

Peter Pan - ticket details

WHAT: Peter Pan

WHERE: Derby Theatre

WHEN: Runs until January 6, 2018

TICKETS: £12-£28

BOX OFFICE: Call 01332 593939 or visit www.derbytheatre.co.uk

Growing up has its losses and its joys and the challenge of finding a good balance between maturity and fun is at the heart of this festive show, which openly celebrates the value of both. The importance of parents and children to each other is also at its core, touchingly revealed by Peter, as he describes the moment when he "lost" his own mother.

Ivan Stott’s original musical score once again underpins the show, hitting all the right notes, as do the inventive and atmospheric sets which transport us into an imaginative world of jungles, pirate ships, seascapes and beautiful night skies.

Expect mermaids, sword fights, flying scenes, humour, a touch of sparkle and even a crocodile, from this highly-satisfying festive adventure.