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Theatre Review: Peter Pan Goes Wrong *****

Scott Purvis-Armour reviews 'a riotous, clever and captivating night of destruction and farce'.

Aiming for the second star on the left and ending up in A&E with a broken ankle, Mischief Theatre’s exceptional Peter Pan Goes Wrong is one of the most entertaining nights in British theatre since J.M. Barrie last held a pen.

The production follows in the familiar faltering footsteps of Mischief Theatre’s wildly entertaining The Play That Goes Wrong. But this time, its starchy director, Chris Bean, sets sail into the pantomime world of the Boy Who Never Grew Up. This time, he ends up artistically shipwrecked in a disastrous night of accidental fires, perilous wire-flying and electrocuted fairies. The result is a riotous, clever and captivating night of destruction and farce which has audiences hooked from the outset.

Each of the cast’s high-spirited characters are instantly adorable, drawn into life like cuddly figures in a children’s comic strip. Theo Toksvig-Stewart plunders the audience’s heart as the cutesy and lovelorn Max whilst Jean Luke-Worrell’s glitter-bomb appearances as the Narrator are big-hearted and hilarious. Jack Michael Stacey, too, gives a fantastically physical performance as the uptight director Chris, a fine folly to Matthew Howell’s booming and competitive co-star, Robert. 

Much of the production’s fun lies in Simon Scullion’s superb set design, an exploding treasure chest which drags the narrative screaming from the calm of the Darlings’ nursery to James Hook’s stormy seas. With collapsing furniture and set pieces flying like cannonballs, Scullion’s constantly surprising design is a leading actor in itself.

Peter Pan Goes Wrong is a wonderful night of intelligent yet endearing comedy bolstered by a cast who chew comic direction like a crocodile gobbling up pirates. It is a show which has its audience giggling like school kids from the first page and an unforgettable theatrical event to be treasured like a fistful of golden doubloons.

Peter Pan Goes Wrong is at the Theatre Royal, Glasgow until March 9, 2024. It’s UK tour continues.

Tags: theatre

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