Always a highlight of the summer, Chameleon’s Web Theatre Company open air theatre tours have always been enjoyable. What a delight to go to Neverland with them when they performed at the exquisite Castle Park Theatre last weekend. James Potter’s adaptation loses none of the original charm and storytelling but adds some contemporary angles that makes it relevant and creates a very moving second half – there is darkness in the story that is not overlooked.
It’s performed by a terrific cast, working together so well, with characters firmly established and delighting the audience. Peregrine Maturin-Baird is wonderful as Peter Pan, refusing to grow up, and has boundless energy and fond of a childish strop! Anna Wightman guides the audience with confidence through the story as Wendy Darling, and James Sillitoe is terrific as Michael Darling, in search of his identity and finding it in Neverland. Finlay Dennis and Paul Reed are a hilarious double act of Tootles and Slightly, and Heidi Mussett is a great Captain Jas Hook, the gender reversal bringing a new aspect to the tale and throwing new light on this land of make believe. Adam Duarte Dias is a joy as Smee, and Liz Fossey is perfect as a bored Tiger Lily, and gorgeous puppetry is employed with Tinkerbell (Katherine Lambert), and Nana (Tia Winterbottom), but my favourite was the interpretation of Crocodile, superbly brought to life by Lilly Matthews, an original and thought-provoking role- for whom does the clock tick?
Excellent direction by Suzanne Webb and a well -oiled crew make sure the action is pacey, and there’s a blistering 1970s soundtrack in which each song relates perfectly with the action. There’s enough there to delight the young and enough poignancy to make the young at heart stop and think. They’re on tour, so head to Chameleon’s Web Theatre Company (chameleonsweb.co.uk) to book tickets for this perfect summer production!
There are a number of events being staged by Castle Park Theatre, including Shakespeare’s classic A Midsummer Night’s Dream, check out Castle Park Theatre – Live Theatre in Castle Park, Colchester.