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Review: Peter Pan Goes Wrong at The Opera House is ‘a delightful comedy classic’

Comedy is done right in Peter Pan Goes Wrong at The Opera House
Peter Pan Goes Wrong Opera House

The magic of Peter Pan graces The Opera House but in the most chaotic way possible in this delightful comedy classic from the creators of The Play That Goes Wrong.

As the title suggests, everything does go wrong in Peter Pan Goes Wrong. Stage lights fall from the ceiling, actors fly up and disappear, cues are missed, props break and have to be replaced on the fly, wardrobe malfunction, technical and electrical faults and much more.

Just when the audience thinks the play can’t go any more wrong the show finds a way to outdo itself as the cast try to navigate one disaster after another.

Peter Pan Goes Wrong at the Opera House

Peter Pan Goes Wrong Opera House

Director Chris Bean and assistant director Robert Grave

The plot follows director Chris Bean (Phil Yarrow) and assistant director (though he insists he’s the co-director) Robert Grave (Matthew Howell) who try their hand at bringing their vision of Peter Pan to the stage.

But things get off to a bad start as Chris wants the play to be a serious production but Robert insists the show is a pantomime, which sets the scene for the chaos to continue.

Gareth Tempest as a lustful Peter Pan

Peter Pan Goes Wrong Opera House

Alongside the plot of Peter Pan is the story of the fictiotious actors behind the characters. Their personal lives are revealed throughout the show and cause even more chaos.

Jonathan (Gareth Tempest) is the lustful Peter Pan who can’t keep his hands off his girlfriend Sandra (Ciara Morris), who plays Wendy.

Max (Theo Toksvig-Stewart) dreams of playing the title role but is stuck as the crocodile who “no one likes”.

Michael Darling plays the stage-stricken Lucy (Rosemary Akwafo) whilst Annie (Jamie Birkett)  plays four chaotic characters.

Dennis (Clark Devlin) plays John Darling but very poorly and has to have his lines delivered to him via headset as he can never remember them.

It all makes for tremendous fun.

Jake Burgum as Trevor the stage manager

Peter Pan Goes Wrong Opera House

Trevor the stage manager (Jake Burgum) is often seen trying his best to solve the show’s many problems and best he can to keep the show running with hilarious results.

The show follows a similar formula to the play Noises Off, where the cast play actors trying and failing to put on a disaster-laden show, with the audience along for the ride as things go off the rails.

The comedy begins at the very beginning of the show, with actors running around trying to set up the stage even as the audience sits in their seats, before building to a calamity-filled fantastic finale.

Phil Yarrow and Matthew Howell deliver great performances as the directors struggle to keep up with their ever-unravelling production. Yarrow’s performance as Hook is particularly good, especially when the mask slips and he loses his temper with the panto-shouting audience.

Howell’s comedic timing and great delivery are on display whenever he is called to stall for time or try and get the show back on track during the show’s many accidents.

Also impressive is Jean-Luke Worrel who shines in his performance of Francis who acts as both the narrator who desperately tries to keep the show on track.

He displays fantastic comic timing and even gets to show off his inner pop star when he has to stall for time with a musical number that delights the audience.

Jamie Birkett shows off her singing skills as Mrs Darling when she tries to bid her children goodnight in a powerful musical number that is unfortunately drowned out by the stage crew freeing Nana the dog out of the dog flap with a chainsaw, but still manages to impress.

Robert Surace’s costume design

While a lot of the show’s plot is about things going wrong in the funniest of ways, the costume (by Roberto Surace) and set design (Simon Scullion) are real strengths of the show, with an impressive revolving set bringing Neverland to life, at least until the lighting hilariously fails and plunges the set into darkness.

The lighting (Matt Haskins) and sound design (Ella Wahlstrom) help make the play go wrong with wrong audio cues and flashing lights that drive up the comedy.

While the cast of the doomed show might be a comic disaster, the cast from Mischief is all a real highlight of the show. They all play their roles to perfection with the way they seamlessly create the atmosphere of a doomed play.

The production shows how sometimes things going wrong by design can make for a fun night for all ages.

Directed by Adam Meggido and written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer and Henry Shields, it’s Peter Pan gone wrong but it’s comedy done right in a laugh-out-loud show that leaves the audience laughing from start to finish.

Peter Pan Goes Wrong is at the Opera House until the 31st March.

You can get tickets by clicking here

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