Theatre review: Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh
Peter Pan Goes Wrong, Festival Theatre, Edinburgh ***
Echoed in the despairing protests of George Haynes, playing the hapless “director” of these impossibly amateurish dramatics, this is not a pantomime. Even with similar rejection of the fourth wall, it’s more formally inventive, owing at least as much to the relatively modern slapstick and rule-breaking of those peerless Zucker, Abrahams and Zucker spoofs The Naked Gun and Airplane!
With all the trademark Goes Wrong collapsing sets, missed cues, fluffed lines and incessant over-acting, Peter Pan also throws in the chaos of wire-flying, prompting ongoing injuries and some cast re-jigging, with gormless backstage “technicians” thrust into the limelight as yet another prop fails.
Relying slightly too much on a running gag about the director and assistant director indiscreetly slating other cast members, it’s nevertheless necessary to chivvy the plot along through the pratfalls. And it facilitates a rather sweet, romantic resolution, offsetting all the bickering, hubris and disaster. As the old ham with a regrettable history of injuring his co-stars, Oliver Senton is eminently watchable, while Romayne Andrews’ commitment to remaining the biggest idiot epitomises the dreadful persistence at the heart of the Goes Wrong shows. Mischief Theatre can be guilty of over-egging the pudding, but this is throwaway buffoonery that ought to entertain the whole family.