Review: Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, October 25

Review: Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Mayflower Theatre, Southampton, October 25

By Graham Hiley  

Peter Pan Goes Wrong – Oh no it doesn’t!

This Mischief production at the Mayflower was absolutely flawless – despite the many mistakes.

Plenty in the packed theatre had clearly seen sister shows such as The Play that Goes Wrong or Magic Goes Wrong and so knew what to expect.

And they were not disappointed. This clever mix of farce, slapstick and chaos was played at such a pace that it was hard to draw breath between the laugh-out-loud moments.

Think Frank Spencer meets Acorn Antiques in Neverland and you’ll get an idea of the accidental absurdities crafted with unerring accuracy. So much went wrong but the genius was that it was so close to being right.

The audience played their part every bit as much as the very capable cast who continually insisted: “It’s not a pantomime!” Oh yes it was… if not in the traditional sense then very definitely in terms of the mishaps and mayhem.

The outstanding Jack Michael Stacey as Captain Hook even got into a mock heated debate with those who dared to call out: “He’s behind you!” arguing: “I know… I put him there! Be quiet… I have lines – and you don’t!”

It was one of many stand-out set-pieces from the broken bunk beds to Peter and Wendy’s crossover into Little Mermaid territory with a hilarious dive into the lagoon.

The stage craft was superb throughout. No wonder the back-up crew came on for a bow as they were every bit as integral as the excellent pairing of Gareth Tempest (Peter Pan) and Ciara Morris (Wendy) alongside the rest of the talented team.

Central to it all was the cleverly engineered revolving stage allowing for scenery to collapse and for flights and fights to fail with such precision – an art form if ever there was one.

After all it takes real skill to get it wrong with such fine margins, to misjudge the moment so accurately and to miss a line by a millisecond. It could have come across as contrived; instead the brilliant direction ensured the slapstick was sharp and slick. The secret, as always, was…

… Timing.

Tickets for Peter Pan Goes Wrong (Tuesday 24 – Saturday 28 October 2023) are on sale at or 02380 711811.

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