Electrifying energy and imaginative audacity charge this year’s 20h anniversary Peter Pan at Hereford’s Courtyard Theatre.
The challenge in pantomiming this particular story is to offset the elements of Edwardian prissiness without distorting or coarsening its timeless magic. Adaptor Lyndsay Maples and director Estelle van Warmelo achieve this triumphantly.
Lyrical delicacy beautifully counterpoints lurid melodrama and outrageous pantodamery. The elements combine to captivating effect: there’s pulsating choreography, ravishing designs and costumes, a dynamic score, a witty script and irresistible acting across the board.
It is also a production of surprises, most notably Madeleine MacMahon’s brilliantly mimed punk Tinkerbell, grounded in both senses, incapable of fairy aviation, she’s the ultimate scene stealer.
Isabella Rubin’s Wendy conveys maternal tenderness without mawkishness. Without doubt the show’s tour de force performance is Craig Painting’s blood-curdlingly piratical Hook, danced, sung and acted with high voltage bravura and relish.