Review: Wendy & Peter Pan

Jess McGlynnDecember 19, 2013

Last week, the Other Half and I were lucky enough to be asked to come and view the RSC show of Wendy and Peter Pan in Stratford Upon Avon.

In typical ‘us’ fashion, we set off for the show with only an hour to complete a journey which was an hour and fifteen minutes long, racing along praying for no traffic.  We arrived in time, rushed to collect our tickets and got ourselves seated, ready to enjoy!

As we were sitting, we looked around and noticed that the demographic of the audience was a lot older than I would have expected.  I whispered to my Other Half, ‘I hope it’s not all arty and weird.  I thought there would be children here.’  Suffice to say, we were soon turfed out of our seats as it was revealed that we were in fact in the wrong theatre.  Apparently what the staff don’t do when they show you to your seat is to read the name of the show you are meant to be seeing!

Unfortunately this meant that we missed the first ten minutes of the actual stage show by the time we had found where we were meant to be.  Huge thanks has to go to the usher who took us in, even though it wasn’t a ‘late entry point’ as he didn’t want us to miss more than we already had!

However, once we were finally in the right place and able to watch we found this adaptation of the J M Barrie classic to be very enjoyable.  It has been reworked by Ella Hickson with some new characters and a slight twist in the storyline.  Nothing major though, it is still essentially the same well loved tale.

I was particularly impressed with how the flying was presented on the stage.  On the way over we had discussed how they would ‘fly’, whether they even would.  We know of some versions where they have eliminated that aspect entirely and felt that it would cause the show to miss a vital element.  However, there is plenty of flying to go around and I thought it was very cleverly incorporated in.


There were lots of children in the audience, ranging from around 3 years upwards although the age recommendation is 7+ years.  I would agree with this as a child did become upset when the pirates first came onto the stage and some of what they talk about (slitting throats for example) is a bit gruesome and not something I would want to expose my 4 year old to!  The crocodile is also a bit strange, not something I imagine younger children would understand.

However, there was also a lot of the magic of the original storyline, in particular the part where Tink sacrifices herself to save Peter and he has to revive her by clapping and saying ‘I believe in fairies’…the whole audience took part and there was one little girl close to use who was very enthusiastically believing in fairies which was lovely (and loud!)


The thing I enjoyed most about the show was that it was very amusing.  There were lots of quips and one liners which made it very relaxed and it felt like the actors on stage were engaging with the audience.  Tinkerbell was by far my favourite although I will leave out why, so that it’s a surprise for anyone thinking about going.


Overall, it was a really great evening.  I thought the staging was very impressive, not what I had been expecting and although it has been rewritten in parts it was very recognisable as the story of Peter Pan, perhaps closer to the books than the Disney version.  There are definitely some interesting new parts though, such as the marital difficulties between Mr & Mrs Darling…I think perhaps because we missed the start we didn’t fully understand the relevance of this particular storyline…I struggled to see why it had been added although I didn’t think it took anything away.  It was just slightly bemusing.

If you have older children this would be a lovely family evening out; even as just adults I think it would be great.  Myself and my Other Half both had a fantastic childless evening and thought it was definitely worth it!!

Wendy and Peter Pan is showing at the RSC in Stratford upon Avon until the 2 March 2014.  You can read more about the show and book tickets here.

Disclaimer: I was provided with two tickets to see Wendy & Peter Pan for the purpose of this review.  All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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