REVIEW: Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Theatre Royal, Newcastle, until Saturday, July 4

Peter Pan Goes Wrong is running at Newcastle's Theatre Royal.
Peter Pan Goes Wrong is running at Newcastle's Theatre Royal.
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If slapstick and silliness is up your street then this is the right play for you.

A spin off from West End hit, The Play That Goes Wrong, this staging sees Mischief Theatre inject japes and tomfoolery galore into the JM Barrie classic.

Peter Pan Goes Wrong is running at Newcastle's Theatre Royal.

Peter Pan Goes Wrong is running at Newcastle's Theatre Royal.

What’s the worst that can happen? You may ask yourself.

You name it, it happens. From sets that fall apart to clothes that fall off, and a fair amount of broken limbs and a mass of missed cues inbetween.

Though the script amuses, it’s not the slickest and wittiest out there. Instead, it’s the physical comedy which will really tickle your ribs.

Leonie Hill stole the show for me as Wendy Darling with her wild gesticulations, flinging herself about the stage like a thespian possessed.

But Laurence Pears as Captain Hook and George Darling was snapping hot on her heels for best in show with his John Cleese-esque falls and insistence on being taken seriously amidst the silliest of situations.

Though the premise of the show is disastrous staging, between the failing fly ropes and hapless stage hands who ‘accidentally’ appear in scenes, it’s easy to forget just how much finely-timed choreography goes into a play like this.

The cast must go home nursing a rainbow of bruises each night, but they commit fully to each tumble and plunge from the rafters as if it’s an unexpected mishap. Which, of course, it isn’t.

Because the humour is more Tom and Jerry than double-entendre, it’s a play you can take younger theatre-goers to and there were plenty of children around us who loved every minute of this dysfunctional take on a much-loved tale. It’s Neverland, but not as we know it.

The second half drew more peals of laughter than the first as the rotating set took on a life of its and became a swirling merry-go round of mayhem, with Peter Pan unravelling spectacularly via collapsing sets and scrapping cast members. Everyone falls flat on their face, much to the pleasure of the audience.

It’s not everyone’s brand of comedy but if comic capers and chaos gets your funny bone going, this is the most right wrong you’ll find.