THE GRAND THEATRE LEEDS
Nine out of Ten
As a small child I was an avid theatre goer. That came of having a professional actress as a mother. I loved every thing I saw from musicals, light opera and ballet to Shakespeare and rep. But one show that really freaked me out was Peter Pan. I have hated and have avoided it ever since.
However things would have been very different if I had seen Northern Ballet’s interpretation of Peter Pan. For choreographer David Nixon has taken this somewhat scary tale and adapted it into a beautiful family ballet with lashing of fairy dust and dastardly but loveable pirates.
Nixon has succeeded in creating created a magical world, taking his audience on a journey to a land of mermaids and fairies where children can fly and adventures happen every day.
It’s a seamless production with the most amazing yet spectacularly simplistic sets by award winning designer Peter Mumford who uses arches, colour and stars to transport his audience into another dimension whilst Oscar winning composer Stephen Warbeck’s music is a pick-n-mix of perfection and mood.
As usual Nixon has used a plethora of dance styles from a rattling sabre dance to a be-sparkled mermaid dance, which combined with Julie Anderson’s amazing costumes will just blow your mind away.
He’s also used the flying element to its full potential and has created the perfect flying ballet when the Darling children leave the house with Peter.
As Peter Pan Jeremy Curnier has both innocence and impishness and blends well with Antoinette Brooks-Daw’s Wendy especially in the finale pas-de-deux whilst Rachael Gillespie’s sweet but feisty Tinkerbell is sure to delight every little budding ballerina in the audience.
In Hook Javier Torres has created a villain-you-love-to-hate. His dance interpretation is strong and athletic yet he injects a lightness and comedic gaiety into the role that’s guaranteed not to scare.
With some excellent cameo performances from the members of Northern Ballet and the orchestra under the expertise of John Pryce Jones this Peter Pan is certainly one for the Christmas wish list. To Saturday 20th December.