Peter Pan


PETER PAN by James Barrie, directed by Tim Carroll (Stratford). At the Avon Theatre, Stratford. Runs in rep to October­­ 31. $50-$95, stu/srs $25-$55. 1-800-567-1600, ­ ­See listing.

Peter Pan isn’t only for children. In fact, the Stratford production is one of the best at this year’s festival.

Directed and adapted by Tim Carroll, the show includes J.M. Barrie – who wrote a stage version of the story before penning the better-known book – as narrator, with the wonderful decision to have Tom McCamus play Barrie as well as the gleefully villainous Captain Hook. (Fact: McCamus is the only actor I’ve seen play both Peter and Hook, the former back at Shaw in the 80s.)

The “real” world of Barrie and the fictional one of Peter Pan blend in this clever show to especially fine effect when Barrie’s chambermaid (Martha Farrell) enters Neverland and joins the Amazon tribe, her feather duster becoming her headdress.

The cast is generally strong, with Sara Topham’s Wendy a believable mother to the Lost Boys (each of them individually drawn), Paul Dunn’s John steadfast and level-headed, and Sanjay Talwar a childlike Mr. Darling to his maternal wife (Laura Condlln).

Michael Therriault is the perfect Peter boyish, amoral and self-centred, he exudes limitless energy and boundless curiosity.

Carolyn M. Smith’s design is another great plus, from the Lost Boys’ underground home and the huge pirate ship to a crocodile that fills half the stage. Kevin Fraser lights the show with storybook hues.

Not everything works. The mermaid scene at the end of the first act feels like an unnecessary add-on, Stacy Steadman’s Michael could use more definition, and Seán Cullen’s Smee is needlessly broad.

But this excellent production is far more than a flash in the Pan.



Stay In The Know with Now Toronto

Be the first to know about new and exclusive content