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Peter Pan review at Epstein Theatre, Liverpool – ‘wicked humour and enormous fun’

Peter Pan at The Epstein Theatre in Liverpool. Photo: David Munn Peter Pan at The Epstein Theatre in Liverpool. Photo: David Munn
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In this joyous reading of Peter Pan, writer/director Michael Chapman and producer Lee Kelly have scaled new heights in their already winning collaboration.

Chapman, the Epstein’s favourite dame, has penned a hilarious script that gives full vent to the huge comic talents of Chris Barton (Smee) and Lewis Pryor (Peter). Dane Bowers is an insidiously dark Hook, while Joanne Harper and Georgia Austin are both in great voice as Wendy and Tiger Lily.

What’s really special is the addition of some tremendously skilled juvenile actors as John, Michael and the band of Lost Kids. Far from being mere bit players, these young performers show immense understanding of the stagecraft that this company nurture beautifully.

The writing mixes story, local references and comedy, and balances itself with intricate subtlety between the younger and older members of the audience. There is wicked humour and enormous fun, and moments of cringing punnery, but never anything to cause offence.

This is a great ensemble show, but the most generous of all scene stealers is Lewis Pryor. Having appeared as slapstick characters such as Buttons in previous years, he now takes on the title role and shares the limelight gloriously with Chapman’s wonderful Dame Betty.

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Verdict
A Peter Pan with beautifully balanced writing that works on every level
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