Peter Pan Goes Wrong Pamela Raith Photography

Peter Pan Goes Wrong review: Giggles galore at the opening night in Manchester

Peter Pan Goes Wrong is an excellently executed and hilarious modernisation of the well-known J.M. Barrie classic from Mischief Theatre. 

The Cornley Drama Society are back onstage causing absolute mayhem with collapsed stages, forgotten lines and hilarious injuries.

Controlled chaos is the only way to describe the masterpiece.

Mega-sassy Tinkerbell gets electrocuted by her light-up skirt, over-confident Peter experiences multiple flying mishaps, off-stage relationship scandals are revealed, and the jokes land every single time. 

Peter Pan Goes Wrong Pamela Raith Photography
Peter Pan Goes Wrong Pamela Raith Photography

But despite the many pitfalls along the way, the ensemble still manages to effectively tell the story of Peter Pan.

The Darling children travel to Neverland with their new friend to experience the wonder of magic and to battle with Captain Hook and the pirate gang.

It was so silly and self-deprecating that you could become wholly immersed in the chaos and drama – I didn’t notice the time slipping by or had a single thought of the outside world during the entire performance. 

The slapstick ensemble showcased absolutely incredible acting from beginning to end, with some actors playing up to four different roles.

My highlight moment was when Robert, Matthew Howell, burst out of the children’s toy box as Peter Pan’s shadow, performing the most hilarious dance routine. 

Sandra, Ciara Morris, was wonderful as the hilarious Tinkerbell, the over-the-top Mrs Darling as well as the housemaid – with some outrageously fast costume changes.

Jean-Luke Worrell did an astounding job as Francis, the narrator, making the audience laugh with his dazzle of glitter every time he appeared on stage. 

But when he burst into an iconic rendition of Everybody (Backstreet’s Back) to distract the audience from Tinkerbell being knocked unconscious, I genuinely couldn’t breathe through the laughter.

Cast of Peter Pan Goes Wrong
Jean-Luke Worrell – Peter Pan Goes Wrong Pamela Raith Photography

The cast also did a fantastic job of responding and reacting to occasional audience heckling. 

Despite knowing what to expect (over-the-top accidents and collapsing sets) each stunt still managed to provoke gasps from the audience, followed by roaring laughter every time.

And the second half descended into utter chaos.

In one scene the revolving set was spinning round and around, revealing different hectic interactions every few seconds.

My eyes were pulled in multiple different directions and I didn’t know where I should look to avoid missing something funny.

I left the theatre feeling like it had been everything I didn’t know I needed – it was a more-than-welcome respite from the real world for a few blissful and light-hearted hours.

Peter Pan Goes Wrong is at The Opera House Manchester until Sun 31 March, then it will move to Leicester Curve and finally Cheltenham Everyman Theatre. You can find more information here.

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