Liverpool Sound and Vision Rating 8.5/10
Cast: David Suchet, Dave Heam, Chris Leask, Ellie Morris, Henry Lewis, Charlie Russell, Jonathan Sayer, Henry Shields, Greg Tannahill, Nancy Zamit, Michael Bodie, Bryony Corrigan, Niall Ransome, Harry Kershaw, Adam Meggido, Rachelle Beinart, Rebecca Hyland.
Many times you may have found yourself wondering what it would be like to see your favourite play acted out on television, not in a sense that television sanitises it, completely takes over and muddles up the magic on stage but to catch it raw, completely as it is with all its minor fluffs and possible dropped lines; would it give it a different perspective, would it generate more income for the theatre world which is stretched by budget constraints and a typical government that doesn’t care about the arts, just the bottom line.
To see a production such as Peter Pan: The Play That Goes Wrong being shown infront of both a live audience and on television is one that deserves praise but also a note of caution. The magic of the show is not lost, the build up, worthy of the combined efforts of an Alan Ayckbourn and Michael Frayn, is one that sets a tone for the whole hour and one that is enhanced by having David Suchet on board in the role of the Narrator.
Written by Henry Lewis and Jonathan Sayer, the play is everything you can ask for in a show where the direction is spot on, where the mistakes thrown in are harder to get right than by playing it absolutely straight; it is the beauty of disaster that is just so right about the play, what can go wrong will go wrong and its devastation is perfect.
Where the note of caution comes in is that the bench mark for such a performance might expose other plays to myopic criticism, that a play that works so well in the theatre, would somehow lose its glitz by having it filmed in the same setting for television.
With superb performances by Ellie Morris, Chris Leask, Nancy Zamit and the irreplaceable David Suchet, Peter Pan: The Play That Goes Wrong is an absolute joy, a tremendous team effort put into place to capture the horrors and craftsmanship of theatre production.
Peter Pan: The Play That Goes Wrong is on at The Lowry in Salford from Monday 5th till Saturday 10th June.
Ian D. Hall