This beautiful adaptation of J. M. Barrie’s classic mesmerised and entertained from the opening until final fall of the curtain.
Sprinkled with many little surprises through the performance and beautifully intertwined with animation and puppetry, the colourful characters of Peter Pan were brought fully to life by the talented dancers of WA Ballet. The real skill was in telling the story with an authenticity that engaged the children in the audience, and coupled with control in choreography and a creative musical composition by Dr Philip Norman (executed perfectly by the WA Philharmonic Orchestra) the whole experience made for a rich performance.
We journeyed through the magic of Neverland, following the adventures of beloved characters Peter Pan, Tinkerbell and Hook. Both Tink and Pan delighted us with their interaction, beautiful character depictions and technical execution throughout. The feisty fairy, played by Chihiro Nomura, provided plenty of giggles and gasps in her perfectly executed solos. Peter Pan (Matthew Edwardson) was suitably adventurous and strong, keeping Hook at bay and bringing the fun, inviting and magical story to life. Hook, played by Matthew Lehmann, kept us entertained as the classic baddie right until the end when my 8-year-old daughter spotted that he was still waving out at us all even when the curtain was going down.
The creative forms used to create some of the more unusual characters in the performance particularly captivated both of us. Detailed costume creation, mixed genres of choreography, precise characterisation and emotive music made for some of the most memorable moments of the night. Peter Pan was also a visual feast, with costumes ranging from modest neutrals to brightly coloured, grand feathered headdresses. The Mermaids’ performance was a definite favourite, as the audience gasped in unison when the curtain rose on Act Two.
Peter Pan is everything that a ballet based on a children’s tale should be; bright, full of fun and engaging for a younger audience. After seeing this beautiful performance I’d hope that WA Ballet might consider extending the run beyond December 10 as this one the whole family really shouldn’t miss.
As my young daughter remarked, ‘My whole school should go and see it, they (WA Ballet) really know what’s best’.
WA Ballet’s Peter Pan is at His Majesty’s Theatre from November 17 – December 10. Find out more.
Image: Claire Voss and Stefano Russiello by Sergey Pevnev.