Producing theatre for young children must be one of the toughest jobs in the business, after all preschoolers aren’t forgiving and if it doesn’t grab their interest then you will soon know about it!
Presented by tutti frutti and York Theatre Royal, Underneath a Magical Moon has no such worries. Captivating from the start the show makes brilliant use of simplistic yet beautiful staging and clever lighting effects to get this re-imagining of the timeless Peter Pan story across to its young audience.
Shying away from the large affluent home of the Darlings in the original Peter Pan, Underneath a magical moon reaches out to make a connection with regular families in a regular garden dreaming of adventure. We all remember the days of creating dens with bed sheets and sailing ships from boxes to be carried away to far away lands and the play demonstrates just that with a wonderful use of every day household props where even the most mundane item can become a pirate ship. We were especially impressed with the crocodile!.
Mike Kenny’s script is clever, warm and above all funny, there were plenty of laughs from the grown ups in the audience and some absolute gems among the songs from hip hop pirates to the brilliantly composed Mermaid song.
The strength of this cast of just three shines and is impressive with a multiple use of musical instruments by Grace Lancaster, Jack Brett and Chris Draper throughout. Most of all they were believable. As the Mother of a child teetering on the edge of ‘growing up’ the reflection of Wendy and her own feelings about adulthood were particularly touching.
Underneath a Magical Moon is what it says on the tin, a magical and endearing tale which will capture the hearts of both old and young alike. It was stripped back perhaps without the razzle dazzle of some larger productions but sometimes that creates the perfect way to connect truly with an audience and this is certainly true in this case..
Recommended for children age 3 – 11 years Underneath a Magical Moon runs until the 31st of December at the Waterside Arts Centre.
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