Take Me To Neverland
Bearfoot Theatre, at the Civic Playhouse
NEWCASTLE playwright Riley McLean’s reworking of the story of Peter Pan puts that ageless boy into realistic, but still amusing situations.
Peter (played by Tom Rodgers) is initially seen surrounded by other playful young boys in a building that turns out to be an orphanage.
He’s next seen alone with Wendy (Savannah Geddes), who announces that she has been sent to care for him, so those watching realise that this is a different venue and time, and years later, with Peter ignoring that he is bodily becoming a man.
McLean, who co-directed with Cassie Hamilton, uses many elements from the Peter Pan narrative to show the real nature of Peter.
The other orphans initially accept Peter’s need to give them the names of the lost boys but as time passes they move away from him. And Wendy’s offer to give Peter a kiss in an early meeting, something he hasn’t had before, retains the action of her giving him a thimble as a kiss, with that initiative eventually losing its power.
The eight actors – the others were Grace Alston, Sam Hawkins, Konstanze Koedam, Harry Lyddiard, Bonnie McPeak and Taylor Reece – brought out the changing characteristics of the other orphans.
And good use was made of the large double-deck bed at stage centre, with the orphans playing on the lower level, and Peter and Wendy using the top as an intimate meeting place where they could discuss issues.