WENDY & PETER PAN: A Retelling of JM Barrie’s Classic at Leeds Playhouse – review

The strong females who play centre stage in Wendy & Peter Pan wow us in the latest production at Leeds Playhouse. 

Not only is the name engaging but the main protagonists are too… meet Wendy and Tinkerbell… then Peter! A magical production and revitalised story of this JM Barrie classic. 

Jonathan Munby’s acclaimed production of Ella Hickson’s Wendy & Peter Pan is an international co-production between Bunkamura in Tokyo and Leeds Playhouse, co-directed by Jonathan Munby and Rupert Hands at Leeds Playhouse.

This magical retelling of Peter Pan gives the Lost Boys a run for their money, with Peter Pan, fairy Tink and Tiger Lily as her unlikely allies as she takes on the dastardly Captain Hook and ultimately learns what a great adventure life can be.

Packed with theatrical magic, flying and sword fighting, a pirate ship, and plenty of laughs, Wendy & Peter Pan is an unforgettable journey for all the family.

We were so excited to review one of our favourite books, films, and now stage shows! As a mum, I remember my own childhood watching Peter Pan on VHS hundreds of times. My kids have now seen it on their tablet devices instead but nothing can transport you to the magical world of Netherland like this theatrical production. 

I actually prefer this version of Peter Pan and loved the twists and turns of the plot which has the underpinning classical features of the original but with new dynamic and more exciting additions to boot! 

Peter Pan is nimble and magical as he truly embodies a gentle boy who never grows up. 

Even more focus on the parents’ plotline is a beautiful addition and Mr Smee is just hilarious. 

For me, the show’s driving force is Wendy and Fairy Tink who captivate us as much as the wonderful set and staging. 

From the costumes to the scene transitions (bar a technical delay) is seamless and utterly magical. 

Well worth a visit to Leeds either via bus at Leeds City Bus Station which is opposite the playhouse or a 10-minute walk from the train station and there is of course pay and display parking and parking lots for those that are driving. 

And if you want to revisit Neverland, you can do so at The Lowry next year too. 

Writer Ella Hickson said: 

“This new production marks the next step on our amazing journey with this beautiful play. It’s the culmination of a number of years work and an extraordinary international collaboration that started life in Tokyo this summer and is now playing to packed houses at Leeds Playhouse. I can’t wait to see Wendy and Peter fly again next year…

“The arrival of Wendy and her excellent gang into The Lowry next year is hugely exciting. I have so much love for little Wendy Darling, who – with her big heart and wild courage – takes her brothers to Neverland to try and bring happiness back to her family. I’m delighted that she will get to meet Salford and Salford will get to meet her.

“Wendy’s adventures with the unstoppably loveable (but enduringly tricky) Peter Pan remind us all of the joys of never having to grow up. This production, masterfully assembled by Jonathan Munby and Rupert Hands, is a riot. With laughter, tears, a battle to knock your socks off and a jig to send you home grinning, it’s got something for everyone. It’s such a joy to know we’ll get to see it again next year.”

Director Jonathan Munby said: “I’m overjoyed that we are bringing Wendy & Peter Pan to The Lowry. It’s a thrilling new telling of this classic story that appeals to boys and girls, old and young and anyone who has ever felt that they don’t quite fit.”

The production, which was a hit in Tokyo this summer and has been wowing audiences at the Playhouse, where it runs in the Quarry theatre until 22 January 2022, will head to The Lowry next Christmas from 3 December 2022 – 8 January 2023. Tickets for The Lowry are on sale. 

CREATIVE TEAM

Writer Ella Hickson

Original Director Jonathan Munby

The Lowry presentation Directors Jonathan Munby and Rupert Hands

Set & Costume Designer Colin Richmond

Choreographer Lucy Hind

Composer Shuhei Kamimura

Sound Designer Christopher Shutt

Lighting Designer Oliver Fenwick

Video Designer Taiki Ueda

Fight Director Terry King

Casting Director Annelie Powell CDG

Flying effects by Flying by Foy

WENDY & PETER PAN

Quarry, Leeds Playhouse

24 November 2021 – 22 January 2022

Click here to book tickets

Or call the Box Office on 0113 213 7700

The Lowry

3 December 2022 – 8 January 2023

Jonathan Church Theatre Productions

Present a Leeds Playhouse and Bunkamura Production of

Wendy & Peter Pan

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