Arts Reviews

“A Special Kind of Magic” – Theatre Review: Peter Pan @ Nottingham New Theatre

Ana Balanici and Amy Child

J.M. Barrie’s beloved tale Peter Pan is brought to the Nottingham New Theatre from March 29th to April 1st. The play follows the magical adventures of Wendy and her brothers Michael and John as they visit Neverland. Ana Balanici and Amy Child review.

The first thing to be said about this performance is that it perfectly captured the feeling of childhood imagination and innocence. The ingenious use of props, the colourful rag-tag set, and excellent direction brought the child-like playfulness of the story to the forefront, possibly becoming one of our favourite performances we’ve seen in the past couple of years of going to the NNT.

The sheer amount of craft and care that went into the production was magnificent. The wonderfully creative use of lighting enhanced the performance, from the start with the presence of Peter Pan’s shadow, to colourful and vibrant changes in atmosphere between scenes, to the use of lights to signify ‘flying’, we were absolutely amazed. The use of set was amazing too, one of our favourite moments was the entrance of the pirates, which was signalled by red lighting, powerful music, and their tearing through the paper which was part of the set. Everything just came together brilliantly, so shout out to everyone involved with tech for making that possible!

The actors […] gave their all to create an unforgettable performance

Within our reviews, we tend to pick out a few actors whose performances we particularly loved, but if we were to do this for this show we would be here all day, as everyone’s performance was equally outstanding. Every single actor had a fantastic grasp of their character and brought them completely to life: from their speech to their movement and even their tiny mannerisms, which made each one distinctive and memorable. Each of the Lost Boys just had such a distinctive, lovable quality, despite not having many lines.

On top of this, actors played multiple roles, constantly changing costumes and switching between characters. Regardless of what role they were playing, the actors paid the same attention to detail and gave their all to create an unforgettable performance. And as if all of this wasn’t astonishing enough, the ensemble also constantly helped to adjust the set. One of our favourite moments was when they helped create the settings beneath the characters as they were flying, creating rooftops and the sky. Through all of this, there was never a dull moment onstage, with warm humour throughout and the cast managing to keep their energy and enthusiasm until the very end, which honestly blew us away.

Just because the production encapsulated the playfulness of the play, that doesn’t mean that the emotional complexities were missed. Towards the end, the more profound elements of the story really shone through, which made for some genuinely endearing and touching moments. Maybe it has got something to do with both of us getting old, but the performance made us see the story in a new light, the moments of heightened emotion making us tear up.

proving once again that performance can be a special kind of magic

We also wouldn’t be able to end this review without mentioning the costumes, which were amazing, especially with characters such as Captain Hook and Tinker Bell, again showcasing the care and attention to detail that went into this production. And we also couldn’t have forgotten to mention Nana, one of the liveliest of all the characters (if you know, you know).

If you get the chance to pop by, we would wholeheartedly recommend doing so. The NNT really outdid themselves with this one, proving once again that performance can be a special kind of magic.

Ana Balanici and Amy Child

Featured image courtesy of Alex Watkin. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to this image.

In-article image courtesy of @nottinghamnewtheatre via No changes were made to this image.

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