Young actors fly high at Haddo

Young actors will quite literally be flying high at Haddo House this week with the most expensive production staged in the decades-long history of Haddo Children’s Theatre (HCT).
Bella Hunter as Wendy. (Pic: Hannah Smith)Bella Hunter as Wendy. (Pic: Hannah Smith)
Bella Hunter as Wendy. (Pic: Hannah Smith)

The historic company has been entertaining audiences for more than 40 years and has this year drafted in a flying rig for the first time to allow members of the cast of Peter Pan the Musical to soar above the stage.

“For the first time ever we will be flying on stage to add an extra dimension of excitement and wonder to the performance – our most expensive and elaborate production to date,” says director Graham Wilson.

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“Set against a backdrop of imaginative sets and wonderful musical numbers, our talented young actors will transport the audience to the whimsical world of Neverland, taking them on a magical journey of pirates, natives and fairies and capturing the spirit of JM Barrie’s classic tale.”

Abi Leslie as Peter Pan. (Pic: Hannah Smith)Abi Leslie as Peter Pan. (Pic: Hannah Smith)
Abi Leslie as Peter Pan. (Pic: Hannah Smith)

The company’s production of the rewritten musical by Piers Chater Robinson features a cast of 41 children and young people aged eight to 15 from around the north-east, including Peter Pan, Wendy, Captain Hook and the Lost Boys.

Abi Leslie, 14, from Tarves, who plays Peter on Thursday and Saturday, said: “I feel so lucky to get the opportunity to play Peter Pan. It’s allowed me to express myself in a new creative way. Flying on stage is going to be such a fun experience – I really can’t wait!”

Amelia Osborne, 14, from Fyvie, who plays Peter on Friday and Sunday, said: “Musical theatre is my passion so getting to play such an iconic character is a dream come true. I’ve had so much fun exploring the role with my fabulous cast mates. This will be my eighth year on stage at Haddo and I can’t wait to add flying to my HCT experience!”

Haddo Children’s Theatre prides itself on being an inclusive theatre company with a family ethos. There are no auditions to join and the company is run by a team of volunteers comprised of parents past and present with children of director Graham Wilson and musical director Rob Fryer having previously tread the boards at Haddo.

Isaac Masson as Hook. (Pic: Hannah Smith)Isaac Masson as Hook. (Pic: Hannah Smith)
Isaac Masson as Hook. (Pic: Hannah Smith)

“Everyone works hard to make our young people feel included, valid, respected and brave in a space where judgement has no place but vulnerability and individuality are encouraged,” adds Graham. “Our focus is less about getting the best people in our shows and more about performing the best shows by getting the best out of our young people.

“We’ve been rehearsing tirelessly for this year’s production and promise to deliver an enchanting experience to those who come to see Peter Pan the Musical in the beautiful and timeless setting of Haddo House.”

Peter Pan the Musical runs from 14-17 March at Haddo House Hall. A limited number of tickets are available via or by emailing [email protected].