Peter Pan at South Hill ParkBy Hugh Fort
November 27, 2009
With a set that looks like an adventure playground to real flying, this year’s South Hill Park panto promises to be magic. Hugh Fort explains
The magical world of Neverland is coming to Bracknell in a spectacular new Peter Pan production at South Hill Park.
The production merges JM Barrie’s original script with new music written especially for the show by Ron McAllister, the arts centre’s chief executive.
It also features “real life” flying and 39 local youngsters as lost boys and pirates.
The roles of Peter and Wendy are taken by 18-year-old Priestwood man Jacob Adley and Francesca Eve, 22, who has been allowed five weeks off by the East 15 Acting School in Loughton in Essex.
Director Daniel Austin says that the cast have “been fantastic” and that he can’t wait for the show to start on Friday.
“This is the 25th Christmas production at the theatre and we are very excited,” he says.
“We have 39 children from the local area taking part.
“They will all feature in certain performances, which means we are rehearsing everything three times, but means everyone really knows what they are doing.
“Peter Pan is a really magical performance, perfect for Christmas time.
“The trip to Neverland is a great quest for everyone.”
Panto fans will be interested to note that the production is sticking to JM Barrie’s 1904 production.
“It’s a really magical, warm, script but Ron McAllister has come up with some wonderful new music,” explains Daniel.
The panto will showcase some new “flying” techniques that he promises will add a whole new dimension to the play.
“The actors are very excited about it, it’s actual real life flying which is amazing,” he explains.
“We’ve got Peter Pan, Wendy, John and Tinkerbell all flying around the stage.”
Captain Hook is played by local man Paul Taylor, a veteran of South Hill Park productions.
Daniel added: “Paul has been in all three of the shows I have put on at South Hill Park and he will make a wonderful baddie.”
He is also particularly pleased with the set, which he describes as “being like an adventure playground”.
He said: “It really lends it to the child’s image theme of the play but it’s quite funky looking.
“I’d also like to add some of the fight scenes are looking really good as well.”
The show starts today and runs until Sunday, January 3.
For ticket details, call the Box Office on (01344) 484 123 or log on to www.southhillpark.org.uk.