Direct from a sell-out tour of Germany ANGEL Aerials brings Peter Pan - Learn to Fly to Leith. While queuing out in the café area we had been told that there were crash mats in front of the seating area where children could sit right in the middle of the action.
This was a real treat for those brave enough to leave the safety of the grown-ups. I say ‘brave’ because, on entering the space, there is only a gloomy light through which one could dimly make out: a American Indian sitting, staring straight ahead between the two crash mats; a pirate wandering about prodding and murmuring at children already there and other characters hanging from the scaffolding that surrounded the acting space. My 6 year old hesitated in the entrance and asked ‘is he real?’ pointing to someone in stripy pyjamas sleeping up on the ceiling.
Barely an hour in length, this production told only the most exciting parts of the story, focusing on the key characters and plotlines and, rather obviously, on the flying bits. In Neverland, ‘round every corner there was a new adventure waiting’ –and they weren’t joking! You never knew quite from which direction the next move would hit you - just in front of you, now behind, or wheeling above your head! This was fast-paced, clever, funny, enthralling and there were some great moments.
Susanne Beschorner as Hook was superb, with a commanding presence and great physicality, she was the glue that held this multi-faceted production together. Behind the scenes she is also the founder of the company, writer, producer and responsible for the, at times, inspired choreography. That so much action could be conveyed by only seven cast members was remarkable. Five played multiple characters – and each of them had at least one stand-out moment - and the other two, in costume and very much part of the team, worked the ropes.
Wendy informed us meaningfully that, ‘All children grow up’ but that, ‘Growing old is not a bad thing because it keeps our childhood with us.’ After watching this production I really believed that and am seriously contemplating booking a place at one of the ‘Learn to Fly’ workshops that take place every day at 11am (yes, adults can learn to fly too!).
This was part-circus, part-dance, part-storytelling and fabulous entertainment for all ages.
21st, 23rd – 28th Aug 10.15am;
21st, 23rd, 25th, 26th, 28th 1.30pm
Ticket Prices: £7.50 - £10 (£30 family)