If you are heading to The Rep in Birmingham this festive season to see Peter Pan Reimanaged, make sure you leave all preconceived ideas about the J.M Barrie classic at home.
This year’s festive offering from The Rep is like no version of Peter Pan you have ever seen before. There are no pantomime jokes and “he’s behind yous” to be found here. Instead you will find a female Captain Hook leading a band of punk rocker pirates, a feisty Wendy, a rapping Peter Pan and a story that begins in the midst of a run down tower block in Birmingham.
We’ve been to a few other shows at The Rep this year, such as The Cat In The Hat and The Lovely Bones. Both shows were fantastically imaginative and as such I had high expectations for Peter Pan. I can honestly say those expectations were blown out of the water, Peter Pan Reimagined has taken the family festive offering to a whole new level.
As we took our seats we were immediately drawn in by the scene on stage awaiting us. An impressive and detailed three storey estate block which becomes the frame from which other sets transform seamlessly into throughout the show.
The show has the basic story plot of Peter Pan but brought right up to date for a modern twist on the classic fairy story. The show opens by introducing the audience to Wendy, John and Michael Darling. However, they are not children raised in a wealthy household with a pooch for a nanny. These children are victims of the foster care system, moved from one temporary home to the next after it’s eluded that their mother fell prey to a world of drugs and poor mental health.
Peter Pan Reimagined carefully explores the emotions of the children, particularly Wendy who has taken on a mother role to her siblings, yet still a child herself with a lot of pent up anger and frustration to deal with.
Wendy finds herself face to face with the playful Peter in the kitchen, struggling to try to attach his shadow back on. After she assists him, with the help of a stapler, he sets about leading her on an adventure to meet the Lost Ones of Neverland. With the help of bungees the foursome leap into the air with breathtaking agility.
As the story unfolds we get to meet more of the characters that we’d expect from Peter Pan, again with plenty of twists and modern interpretations. We get to meet an anime inspired Tink (Mirabelle Gremaud) whose sassy personality packs as much punch as her gymnastic stunts.
Captain Jess Hook (Nia Gwynne) leads her band of misfit pirates with a thirst to capture Peter. The break dancing, rock music singing group, who can be seen travelling around on a motorised dumpster, bring huge amounts of energy and fun to the production.
Throughout the adventures we see Wendy (Cora Tsang) begin to learn to let down her defences and begin to trust others whilst allowing herself to receive affection from others.
Peter Pan Reimagined is fantastically creative and so relevant to today. It brings a refreshing and modern alternative to the traditional festive pantomime season, whilst still brilliantly showcasing the magic of theatre, a family show not to be missed.
Peter Pan Reimagined Information
Peter Pan Reimagined runs until Sunday 19th January 2020. The show is recommended as family friendly and suitable for children aged 7 upwards. Tickets start from £15. Group, family, disabled and school rates available via The Rep box office on 0121 236 4455.
Tickets can be purchased directly from The Rep Website.
BSL performances – 12th, 16th December and 7th January
Relaxed performances – 13th December and 5th January
- The running time is 2 hours 20 minutes, including a 20 minute interval.
- The Rep is right next to a number of Christmas activities including an ice rink and a big wheel. The theatre is also a short walk away from Birmingham’s famous German Market should you wish to combine with your visit.
- Peter Pan Reimagined souvenirs and merchandise is available at the theatre should children wish to take some pocket money along to spend.
- The auditorium has quite a steep slope and the theatre has a wide stage set up so children should be able to get a good view of the stage from all seats.
Disclaimer: We were invited to attend Peter Pan Reimagined for the purpose of this review. All views and opinions are entirely my own.
Production images kindly provided by The Rep, taken by Johan Persson.