Peter Pan: Nottingham Playhouse
I T'S one of the great children's stories, one that's been told everywhere from the West End to Disney World. But though he's flown around the world, Peter Pan still has Nottingham roots. JM Barrie, of course, lived for a time in Nottingham and worked as a newspaperman – it's said he drew inspiration for what would become his most enduring work while living here.
So, in bringing the story to the stage, Carlton Operatic Society is taking on no small challenge.
"We're filling big shoes with regards to the actual play," director Rachel Rees says.
"Peter Pan is well known around the world. We're wanting to recreate that for people who come to see the show. We want that magical experience for everybody, may that be a mum or dad, grandparent or a child. It's about meeting everybody's needs."
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This is a big, ambitious production for an amateur group, even one as respected as Carlton Operatic. But most of all, it's got to be fun. The cast of 34 have embraced the show's spirit.
"It's very much a modern musical, so it's got some fantastic numbers," she says.
"It allows adults to be children. As adults we all remember our childhood of wanting to be a fairy or wanting to play pirates and indians.
"It allows adults to carry out that fantasy they had when they were children."
Several of the stars are teenagers, but the Lost Boys and most of the cast are played by adults. Adults who are having no problem carrying out those fantasies.
"It really does come across," Rachel says.
In one song called The Lost Boys' Gang, the "boys" must play fight, mess around and play tricks on each other.
"The playfulness certainly comes through in the big numbers like that," Rachel says.
Other elements of the play are not fun and games at all. One sword fight between Peter and Captain Hook features real fencing swords – something that takes a bit of rehearsing.
Then there's what is inevitably one of the most memorable bits of any production.
Yes, Peter does fly.
They'll deal with the technical elements of that when they get into Nottingham Playhouse for dress rehearsals from Sunday. But they've done similar things in shows before, and Rachel's not worried. Those sorts of challenges add energy to the show.
She says: "That certainly brings an added element of excitement to it."