Photos – David Kelly
When was the last time you let yourself really dream? That was what Queensland Ballet invited audiences to do last night with an energetic and lively telling of Peter Pan at QPAC’s Playhouse.
I must be one of very, very few people who, until last night, were not familiar with J. M. Barrie’s timeless tale. And now I wonder how I could have grown up without the magic and whimsy that is Peter Pan.
But for everyone else, Trey McIntyre’s Peter Pan is the expected delight they know and love. This 2017 restaging features Rian Thompson again (as in 2015) as the dynamic lead, his cheeky mischief lighting up the stage. He appears one night after Wendy (Lucy Green) has awoken from a terrible nightmare. After a joyful scene in which he gets to know Wendy and her brothers John (Camilo Ramos) and Michael (Lina Kim), Peter takes the Darling siblings to Neverland.
Soon, we are introduced to Captain Hook (Victor Estévez) and his band of pirates. Estévez commands attention with his form and costume, as does David Power as James Hook, who participates in some trickery to please his father but clearly yearns to be good. (In fact, James has one of the most discernible character developments in the ballet.) First, Captain Hook captures one of the enchanting mermaids (Yanela Piñera, Lisa Edwards, and Mia Heathcote), but when she is rescued, he turns his attention to the Lost Boys and the Darling Children, who have been thrown out by Peter after Wendy longs for home.
In the third act, audiences are delighted with the famous swashbuckling scene – watch out for the octopus and alligator – before Wendy and her brothers return home, where the adventures in Neverland become a lasting memory.
The flight scenes are particularly magical, if comically augmented by a cardboard Peter Pan “in the distance” in one scene, and the corps de ballet in the form of the Lost Boys and the Pirates make for wildly action-packed scenes. And of course, no Peter Pan would be complete without Tinkerbell (Neneka Yoshika), who sprinkles the ballet with delightful appearances, complemented by the other fairies.
Jeanne Button’s costumes made for a visual delight. Particularly outstanding were Michael’s playful, oversized onesie with a quirky aviator hat and goggles, the masked and somber black-and-white adult get-ups and the sparkly fairy dresses, each complementing the respective characters. And who better to transport us aurally than the Queensland Symphony Orchestra?
So if it’s been a while since you’ve let yourself succumb to the musings and dreaming of an uninhibited, innocent child, it’s time to get to QPAC. Peter Pan runs for two hours and fifteen minutes.
Queensland Ballet presents
Choreographer Trey McIntyre
Venue: Playhouse QPAC | N/A
Dates: 25-10-2017 – 05-11-2017
Tickets: $55 – $100
Bookings: 13 62 46 | www.qpac.com.au