Friday, July 31, 2015

PETER PAN: Welsh National Opera murder The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up

Every so often I see a production that reminds me that it is all a crapshoot.  You blow on the dice and give them a shake, throw them and see what comes out.

Last week I blew on the dice and gave them a shake = I went to the theatre and sat down
I threw them = the lights went down and the curtain went up
and saw what came out = watched in horror as a shiteous opera of PETER PAN took place.

I will name the guilty: Richard Ayres provided the bizarre, vaguely dissonant score while Lavinia Greenlaw provided the arid libretto and lyrics and the show was directed by Keith Warner in a breathtakingly cack-handed way.  It made me so angry I couldn't even sleep through it... just stare at it as if it had dropped off the ceiling.

It was a production without the slightest glimmer of wonder or magic, squashed onto an ugly set of two tunnels linked by a semi-circle of railway track which every so often will be used to send something along the track, most notably when the Darling children fly off to Neverland.

At the very end of the production, a train rolls along the tracks.  I can only presume it's a reference to Peter Llewellyn-Davies, one of the three little brothers who so enchanted J.M. Barrie, who threw himself in front of one at Sloane Square Station in 1960 aged only 63.  I can only surmise he saw an early version of this load of old cock.

Yes the real life story behind the writing of PETER PAN is strange and tragic but this was so inept it could only make only this specious reference to it.

The only performer of any merit was Marie Arnet as Wendy whose pure soprano voice made one sit up and listen during the odd aria but that was it.

Luckily they allowed me to tell them what I thought because in the famous "clap if you believe in fairies" scene which was here made more twatty by Peter saying to the audience make a noise if you believe in them I happily blew the biggest raspberry I could.

I guess a positive was that it was just about 2 hours, but sadly I will never get them back.  I guess I can complement the programme which has interesting articles on Barrie and the psychology of his writing.

This was so woeful I even pined for Bonnie Langford in PETER PAN: THE MUSICAL, now *that*s saying something.  By the way, the first time I saw PETER PAN on stage was when I saw Hayley Mills play it in 1969 at the Victoria Palace.  I must try and find a programme for that somewhere.

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