Peter Pan is one of my favourite children’s stories and it’s impossible to have a Christmas without watching at least one adaptation on the TV – it’s so magical and festive!. This year it was even more exciting than usual though, as we went to see Peter Pan – The Never-ending Story at the Phones4U Arena in Manchester.
It’s an epic spectacular production, which apparently cost £10million (and it’s easy to see why!). The scenery and effects are amazing; there’s a massive group of dancers and acrobats performing exciting choreography; there are fantastic stunts – the characters fly both with wires and without using a wind tunnel…
(Sorry about the image quality by the way – iPhone cameras + arena distances don’t mix)
It ticks all my Peter Pan boxes – flying, fairies, mermaids, pirates, swordfights… It’s a little different from other adaptations though – and also other shows – because there is no dialogue at all. The whole story is narrated by Tinkerbell, aka Stacey Solomon, while the other characters sing their story through popular songs which suit the occasion, such as Our House, Sailing, You Raise Me Up, One Day I’ll Fly Away and Forever Young. There were some great voices actually, especially Captain Hook singing a bit of Opera.
I really enjoyed this production and found it magical and spectacular. It’s a shame though that an arena setting doesn’t have much atmosphere and that the audience are set back quite far from the action in comparison to a regular theatre. Also, although I know that Stacey Solomon was probably cast because the Producers felt they needed a big name to sell tickets (sadly they’re probably right) and she does have a good singing voice, I don’t think she was a good choice to have as the narrator of the story. There’s no dialogue from the other characters at all and her narration is the only way of following the story. Unless you know the details of the story as well as I do you’d struggle to follow what’s going on as her diction is not great at all.
The production is playing during January in a few more UK arenas, and hopefully after that it will continue the World tour. I’d recommend it as a magical experience, particularly for Christmas.