Gawthorpe Hall’s grounds were transformed into the fantastical world of Neverland in Off The Ground Theatre’s latest production of Peter Pan.
Telling J.M Barrie’s infamous tale about a boy that doesn’t want to grow up, the company brought to life some of literature’s most well-loved characters with energy and enthusiasm.
While the rain held off for the most part, the cast remained dedicated to their roles when sudden showers did occur, and Eleanor Stephens (Mrs Darling and Hook) even managed to put on a brave face after spraining her ankle.
There were moments when audibility became an issue, but that is an expectation that comes with most outdoor productions. For the most part, the ambience created truly was magical, children and adults alike enjoying the script, the characterisations, and, of course, the homemade picnics.
Joel Bates’s enjoyment of playing Pan truly transmitted into the realms of the audience, while Sarah Hillman made a delightfully polite and captivating Wendy.
Jay Crawford won the crown for best comedy act as Wendy’s brother John, and Joey Weldon also deserves praise for her stubborn and humorous portrayal of Tinkerbell.
A special mention must go to the ensemble work of The Lost Boys and The Pirates, who worked together superbly to create some of the most stand-out moments in the whole show.
In particular, a scene where The Lost Boys decide to disguise themselves as a totem pole left the audience in stitches. Director Dan Meigh has obviously worked exceptionally hard to have his visions translated, and it shows.
From the innovative use of set and props, to the impressive fight choreography and flying, this is a production that most certainly left its audience believing. A must-see.