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And Off To… Regent’s Park for J.M Barrie’s Peter Pan

05 June 2015

 

"Jaw-dropping… a magical spectacle, and... a heap more besides.” – Time Out

"Physically inventive...with a majestic sense of spectacle." – Evening Standard

As an active supporter of the arts and a proud partner of Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Grange Hotels has been eagerly anticipating the London landmark’s fairy tale performance of Peter Pan, and is delighted to report back that this nostalgic interpretation is a sure summer hit.

Directors Timothy Sheader and Liam Steel manage to appeal to all generations, as our familiar childhood story is framed by a touching wartime narrative, wherein soldiers are reincarnated as lost boys, a boisterous matron transforms into Smee, and an eye-patched sergeant becomes our menacing Captain Hook. 

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The venue alone proved magic enough; set deep in amongst the trees and greenery of Regent’s Park and open to the elements (which were fortunately kind!) When Peter Pan first appeared, played by Hiran Abeysekera, he was just the right balance of petulant and loveable as he pranced about the stage exclaiming: “Oh the cleverness of me!” And indeed he was – Peter Pan actually flies above the audience. So fairy dust works after all!

The imaginative set design by Jon Bausor is worth a mention. Beds were rearranged to become walls of a house, rocks in the sea, and even the backdrop of the forest; draped in sheets of glittering greenery. The props were similarly creative as a host of inanimate objects were brought to life by puppeteers; from umbrella jellyfish to gas-masked mermaid heads to a deckchair crocodile mouth.

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The audience’s enthusiastic reactions enhanced the whole experience, whether that be the children who booed when the pirates first appeared, acrobatically bounding across the stage like gothic ninjas, or when it fell on the audience to save a dying Tinker Bell, who was uniquely portrayed as a mechanical fairy with a lantern for a body. When Pan asked us: “Do you believe in fairies?” we gave a resounding “Yes!” and clapped noisily until she sprung back to life. At this point there were no adults or children in the audience. Only believers.

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Who would’ve thought J.M. Barrie’s famous story could be so perfect for an outside setting such as Regent’s Park? Congratulations to our partners, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, for their ingenious and poignant retelling of Peter Pan; a must-see this summer. And you only have till 14th June to catch it!

Grange Hotels is delighted to offer Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre audiences special discounted rates during the week at our nearby hotels and 10% off best available rates at the weekends. For those who want to walk home after a performance, Grange Fitzrovia Hotel is a mere 15 minute stroll away.