New writing The Fairytale Revolution: Wendy’s Awfully Big Adventure by Louise Beresford and Anna Spearpoint has taken the normal fairytale concept of the pantomime and turned it into a really interesting story when the characters decide to take charge of their own destiny.
Wendy Darling(Anais Long) as pictured below decides to rebel and leave Peter Pan ( Helena Morais) in order to pursue her own adventure and refuses to continue in the stereotypical role set out for her.
With the narrator who appears as a pink light before she speaks facing Anarchy from all of the fairy tale characters, she has a battle ahead of her in order to try and regain her status.
Director Carla Kingham has created a great twist on the traditional Christmas pantomime as what unfolds before the audience rewrites the featured tales in a fast-paced “family-friendly pantomime” as never quite seen before.
However, although there are many changes it does deliver the usual themes that you would expect to find within a pantomime from the “he’s behind you”, “Sweets being thrown” and the “oh no he isn’t ” one-liner appearing.
The children that were in the auditorium were encouraged to join in throughout the pantomime and even my “moody teenager” enjoyed it. Their laughter expressed how much they engaged with the characters and everything that was going on around them.
As you will see in the photographs the stage has been dressed really interestingly and the amount of time energy and effort put into creating a winter wonderland to enhance their vision of the new style pantomime has really paid off.
The main protagonist Wendy who is in constant odds with the narrator empowers the female role within the pantomime genre but it isn’t done in an aggressive manner it’s all about taking back the right to be who you want to be rather than who you are scripted to be.
Beresford in the role of Hook has rewritten the mean swashbuckling “baddie” who is out for revenge on anybody and everybody into a thespian reciting sonnets that he’s made up himself which bring many laughs within the role as he messes up some of the lines by miscounting how many words were needed.
Co-writer Anna Spearpoint pictured above plays Baker’s Swife the rebel banished from fairytale land for 184 years. Her only companion has been “Ken Wood” whose conversations are somewhat one-sided as he is a wooden chopping block.
This high standard of this production is one of the many reasons why I thoroughly enjoy going to the pub theatres to watch and review high-quality performances such as this. I would highly recommend anyone with children of any age to go and see what happens to Wendy.
Peter Pan/Smee-Helena Morais
Baker Swife-Anna Spearpoint
Photo credit Helen Murray.
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