The cast of Nelson Youth Theatre's Peter Pan light up the stage. Photo: Supplied

REVIEW: Nelson Youth Theatre’s Peter Pan Jr lights up the stage

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Peter Pan 

At the Theatre Royal

Performed by Nelson Youth Theatre

Reviewed by Tracy Saunders

Do you believe in fairies?  I can tell you I do after seeing the Nelson Youth Theatre production of Peter Pan at the Theatre Royal this afternoon.  A cast of 60 children ages 7 to 14 brought magic to the stage with this short one hour production of Peter Pan, based on the 1904 play by Sir J.M Barrie.

It is the story of the Darling children who fly away too Neverland to bring stories to the Lost Boys at the request of Peter Pan.  There they meet the evil villain, Captain Hook, (Tobais Young) and his pirate crew along with Tiger Lily (Holly Cameron)  and her band of Indians.

Peter Pan, played by Ella Danson, and Wendy, played by Tiana Simpson, led the cast with incredible vocals and a great connection with each other and the audience.  When Peter and the Darling children fly you feel like you’re being transported to Neverland with them.

The entire audience was clapping to help bring Tinkerbell back to life and booing to warn the lost boys that Captain Hook was near.  According to Richard Carruthers, founder of Nelson Youth Theatre, these ‘junior’ editions  are “designed to introduce young people to the theatre both on stage and in the audience”.

I sat next to a 3-year-old who couldn’t wait to meet Peter Pan, as after the show the audience is invited on stage for pictures.

Special mention goes to the young director/choreographer and musical director Michaela Carruthers, Ella Bogle and Jasmine Jessen who, at just 12, 14 and 16 years of age, created magic. The costumes were a visual treat and it brought a smile to my face to see the kids in the audience dressed up as Peter Pan or wearing their fairy wings.