After the bite of last year’s production of Oliver Twist, which didn’t shy away from depicting the grimmer aspects of Victorian London, Hull Truck’s latest Christmas show is an altogether dreamier experience.
This take on JM Barrie’s novel, adapted – like last year’s production – by Deborah McAndrew, draws us into the adventure of the tale while maintaining a whimsical edge.
Set in a post-Second World War Hull, where Wendy’s father is set to help rebuild the Blitz-damaged city, McAndrew’s version is alive with hope for the future.
The independent, questing Wendy (an energetic Vanessa Schofield) is the heart of Mark Babych’s production, meeting various fairies and pirates along the way, while Baker Mukasa, as Peter Pan, captures the giddiness of childhood. There’s fine comic support from Joanna Holden as the devious Tinkerbell, her costume festooned with intermittently honking clown horns
Ciaran Bagnall’s set, with its large, diaphanous drapes, enhances the whimsical feel, as do the songs – co-written by McAndrew and John Biddle – including a ditty in praise of cod liver oil.
Conveying something of the strangeness of Barrie’s source material, it all feels joyfully disorientating, like being trapped in a giant, novelty snow globe that’s just been shaken up.