In bringing Finding Peter to the Edinburgh Fringe, my daughter has found a performance that she likes because “it shows that girls can be tougher than boys”. So I’m quite tempted to leave this review there- what more do our sons and daughters need?
In re-imagining James Matthew Barrie’s Peter Pan, Frankie Meredith creates a piece from the perspective of Wendy. Years since the Neverland adventures, Wendy is worried that she fast becoming too old to imagine. Trying to persuade John and Michael to get to sleep, so the need for adventure is created. When Tinks appears to let the children know that Peter has been taken, it’s Wendy who steps up to rescue him. And so we are taken to Neverland. We have enjoy adventures with the Lost Boys and Tiger Lily. And eventually the culmination of an altercation with one of Hook’s deserters to claim Peter back.
The production is a jam-packed 45 minutes. The simplicity of the staging and the strength of the three – person cast is part of the success. This also makes it slightly more challenging for the younger children in the audience. Whilst Jenny Wilford plays Wendy throughout, Jessica Arden and James Tobin take on the plethora of other characters. There are frequent segways to the characters actually being played by John and Michael, whilst this adds humour for some of the audience it is not clear if this benefits the younger audience as to an extent it breaks the pace of the adventure.
The actors are engaging and offer a humourous take on each character. As Wendy, Jenny Wilford offers a strong, wilful character, much to Seren’s approval.
Once again at nine, Seren wasn’t too sure of its appeal to her. She could imagine tons of reasons to like it if she was six, but felt it was too childish for her. And yes, this continues to be the challenge we are having at the Edinburgh Fringe where shows include her age in the target audience (Finding Peter being ages 3-10) but it’s so difficult to offer a review with this in mind.
So yes, both Seren and I are completely appreciative of Finding Peter from the perspective of demonstrating the wonder of imagination, the need to nurture a child’s independence, the need to promote girls as heroes. And this was created through a script which was full of humour, adventure and a little sprinkling of pixie dust. A wonderful way to while away time at the Edinburgh Fringe with little ones.
Finding Peter is at the Gilded Balloon Teviot as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. You can catch the performance at 10.00 until Monday 27th August.
Disclosure: We have media accreditation for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. All views and opinions contained are our own.