Audiences were wowed by the Middle School’s playful, colourful, lyrical production of Peter Pan, the much-loved story of a free‑spirited boy, who refuses to grow up, and who whisks the ‘Darling’ children off on a magical adventure to Neverland. It is more than 115 years since Peter Pan, a play written by Sir J M Barrie, was first produced on stage, and the age-old tale has remained a firm favourite ever since, having been retold in numerous books and comics, and performed on stage and in film. “These days we often experience stories via a digital world. However, Peter Pan asks the audience to make the leap with the performers into a world of make‑believe, where a stick can be your sword, fishing line or fort, where fairy dust can help us to fly, and where we can fight pirates and crocodiles,” says Director, Ginnie Thorner.
The version of Peter Pan performed by the talented Year 9–10 students in the cast, stayed true to the original story and traditions, with a ‘genderless’ Peter Pan played by Cindy Xiong (Year 10), who clearly relished evoking Peter’s energy and mischief. She is also an excellent singer, with a clear and strong voice.
The version of Peter Pan performed by the talented Year 9–10 students in the cast, stayed true to the original story and traditions, with a ‘genderless’ Peter Pan played by Cindy Xiong (Year 10), who clearly relished evoking Peter’s energy and mischief. She is also an excellent singer, with a clear and strong voice.Another tradition is for the characters of Mr Darling and Captain Hook to be played by one actor, and Harry Withers (Year 10) did an outstanding job in both roles. As Hook, his impressive ability to convey so much with a simple look or raising of an eyebrow, along with his excellent delivery and comic timing, raised many laughs. Another performer in dual roles was Estee Wilke (Year 10), as the glamorous Mrs Darling and a Mermaid. Her solo singing performances, particularly her rendition of Just Beyond the Stars, were mesmerising, and she also has a wonderful stage presence. Another to impress was Grace Lawrence (Year 10) in the pivotal role of Wendy, whose transformation from adolescence to womanhood is at the heart of the story. Grace had a commanding stage presence and played the role with a maturity that belied her years. She effortlessly took the audience on Wendy’s journey from child, to ‘mother’ of the gang of daring ‘Lost Boys’ whom she encountered at Neverland along with her brothers John, and Michael (played convincingly and with enthusiasm by Year 9 students Jonah Cropp and Marco Leighs).
The fairy Tinker Bell (cleverly evoked by a light darting across the stage), a gang of pirates, a Native American princess, Tiger Lily (played enthusiastically by Year 9 student, Morgan Lee) and an imaginary crocodile were also encountered by the Darling children. Others to impress in the cast were the Storyteller, Rachel Holyoake (Year 10) whose narration provided the production with a seamless flow, and Thomas Kamo (Year 10) as Hook’s trusty sidekick, Smee, who put in a strong performance. The students playing the Lost Boys and Pirates also did a great job of bringing the story to life.
A stunning score was beautifully played by a band of student musicians, directed by Head of Music, Duncan Ferguson, with the live music adding an extra dimension to the show. Bursting with magic, mayhem and make-believe, Peter Pan was another captivating and magical Middle School production, which transported both the cast and the audience, into the wonderful world of the imagination.