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My Friend Peter

My Friend Peter. Photo: Alex Harvey-Brown My Friend Peter. Photo: Alex Harvey-Brown

HookHitch Theatre has converted one of the rooms in the vertiginous C Nova building into a garden shed, a cosy inviting space with cushions on the floor on which to sit. They have made the room feel incredibly welcoming and this extends to the production as well.

Casey Jay Andrews’s play interweaves the story of Beatrix Potter with her most famous tales – Peter Rabbit, Jemima Puddleduck and Tom Kitten. It is done with real elegance and care. Potter’s own story is a bittersweet one – she was briefly engaged to her publisher Norman Warne before he died suddenly – and the play does not shy away from the cruelty and upset of this, but this is primarily a celebration of her creative energy, her independence of mind, and the affection children continue to feel for her work.

Laura Trundle is glinting and spirited as Potter and the whole cast work well together, conjuring worlds from old trunks and carpet beaters. The sequences in which they bring Potter’s stories to life are warmly and amusingly staged, underscored with folky music. My Friend Peter is a production with a huge amount of heart and charm, the kind of thing which really will appeal to audiences of all ages.

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Verdict
Charming, bittersweet play about the life and creative spirit of Beatrix Potter
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