Peter Pan Goes Wrong crashes into the Brighton for one week early but is this just a shadow of the original production?
Much like in Mischief Theatre’s smash-hit The Play That Goes Wrong we follow The ‘Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society’ and the premise is clear - they have secured a much larger budget than usual and task themselves with the re-telling (or hashing) of JM Barry’s classic production - we are told that this is a panto like no other but I’m afraid to say, oh yes it is.
Bursting through each scene with relentless energy we whiz from one iconic Neverland location to another - the Darlings residency in Kensington, the Jolly Roger and The Mermaids Lagoon all feel like warm nostalgic fairy-dust covered cuddles with the aid of Simon Scullians’ impressive design.
Despite the nostalgic Neverland cuddles, I’m sorry to say that once you’ve seen one of the Goes Wrong shows, you’ve seen them all. Collapsing sets, incorrect props and mistimed cues start as humorous but after 2 hours become utterly exhausting in their repetition. The energy the actors maintain throughout is not only commendable but absolutely the glue that holds the show together, each one of them entirely committed in nimbly dancing round the revolving obstacle course of a set from the moment the audience enter the auditorium. Katy Daghorn, Tom Babbage, Ciaran Kellgren, Oliver Stenton, Connor Crawford, Romayne Andrews, Phoebe Ellabani, Ethan Moorhouse, Georgia Bradley & Patrick Warner all deserve praise as the ensemble for what must be a tiring show.
Recycled gags and an impressive set don't make a good show, especially when we already know the entire plot. Peter Pan Goes Wrong is light entertainment, fit for families, and if you’re not familiar with Mischiefs work some could argue a good choice for an evening at the theatre. But, if you have seen their work before then take my advice, you know everything that is going to happen so instead, go to the second bar to the left and stay there ‘til morning.
Peter Pan Goes Wrong is on at the Theatre Royal Brighton until the 24th November, before continuing its tour. Tickets available here -
Photo by Alastair Muir