Paul Boyd's 24th original stage musical Peter Pan The Musical premiered at the Lyric Theatre Belfast from 29th Nov 2019 until 4th January 2020.
The cast included Rhiannon Chesterman (Rock of Ages, Mrs. Henderson Presents), Alan Richardson (Chicago, All-Male Pirates of Penzance), Christopher Finn (Mr. Popper's Penguins, All-Male Iolanthe), Allison Harding (Once, Sister Act), Christina Nelson, Colette Lennon Dougal, Rea Campbell-Hill, and Michael Mahony.
The critically-acclaimed show was designed by Stuart Marshall with costumes by Gillian Lennox and Erin Charteris, lights and AV by Conleth White, and sound design by Ian Vennard. Peter Pan The Musical was produced by the Lyric Theatre Belfast by arrangement with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity and Samuel French Ltd., choreographed by Deborah Maguire and directed by Paul Boyd.
"from first sight, this carefully structured piece keeps faith with both JM Barrie’s story of troubled childhood and Mabel Lucie Attwell’s famously charming illustrations for the book’s first edition."
2019 - Lyric Theatre Belfast
photos by Johnny Frazer
"musically haunting and visually gorgeous ...
Paul Boyd's Peter Pan is a thing of beauty"
"Since its stage debut in 1904, [Peter Pan's] place in pop culture is a testament to writer JM Barrie’s skill as a playwright and his ability to fill kids of all ages with delight and adventure. Tonight’s performance, [featuring] Paul Boyd’s book, music and lyrics is a joy to watch. Aimed at children the parents and guardians are catered for too.
Belfast’s Lyric Theatre sees director Paul Boyd, along with an imaginative, innovative and truly professional creative team and cast take a close to capacity main stage on a thrilling adventure and removal from reality for its hour and 40 minutes running time. Worry not, your children will not be bored for a second.
Flights of fancy, the innocence of childhood, swash-buckling sword fights, the anarchic Lost Boys, the eternal conflict between good and evil, plus a few more tricks that I’ll leave you to ponder when you see the production left every one of us delighted by the end" CultureCrush
"Every which way you look at it, Paul Boyd’s new musical adaptation of Peter Pan is a thing of beauty. It contrives to hold firmly onto young imaginations while its high production values leave adult audience members glowing with warm, lasting memories.
Boyd’s music and lyrics are spot-on in capturing the atmosphere of the children’s safe, middle class home, the vast darkness into which they fly with Peter, the lawless tribal lands inhabited by Tiger Lily, Great Big Little Panther and the Lost Boys, and the edge of darkness where Captain Hook and her – yes, her – swashbuckling pirates rule the roost.
The haunting final song, I’ll Be There [sic], links Wendy’s rite of passage into adulthood with her mother Mrs. Darling’s (Colette Lennon Dougal) yearning for her missing children. It pins down the cherished parental devotion which has, for so long, been missing from the lives of poor, confused Peter and others like him.
Amongst a myriad visual and vocal thrills, the highlight is the emergence of a trio of glittering, halo-haired mermaids. Led with high camp operatic gorgeousness by Alan Richardson’s Queen Bah-Ree, they will prove to be Wendy’s saviours in her hour of need" TheEvenHand.com
"Paul Boyd's sparkling musical adaptation of JM Barrie's Peter Pan is a treat for the eyes, ears and senses of children and adults alike. It's lively, laugh-filled and a lesson, a smorgasbord of eye-catching colour, craft and music which, like the best Christmas entertainment this year, stands out for uniquely interpreting a seemingly overplayed but deservedly entrenched legend.
It is, as I said, eye-catching. Rather startlingly so. When you're not appreciating Boyd's show tunes, particularly Alan Richardson’s staggering falsetto when Queen Of The Mermaids, you're enjoying watching Wendy loosen up a little, the tomfoolery of a female Smee, and the heroism of Tiger Lily.
Where the play darkly turns is in the exploration of its central characters. By dreaming of being pirates, Michael and John forget who they were entirely - as if being who they please is more important than anything else. The duet of 'If I Could Be A Pirate', directly after the interval, is more than a little sad - for the first time, our awfully big adventure touches not upon growth, but regression and stagnancy" The Big List
"Boyd’s imagination is big and along with set designer Stuart Marshall and lighting and AV designer Conleth White, they use striking animation and a stunning light show to bring West End values to the Lyric stage. Tinker Bell is depicted as an energetic, sparkling ball of light and the space is used to great effect throughout, particularly in the Mermaid Song. The action truly begins when the children fly away with Peter Pan, rising up through the sky in a stunning tableau as they move across the London skyline – a scene of the purest theatrical magic.
At the heart of the production are Boyd’s excellent songs, from the heartfelt ensemble ode to mothers, She’ll Be There to the Caribbean influenced This is My Island – which acts as a fantastic introduction to the Lost Boys.
One of the eight year olds who came along with me declared the show ‘very enthusiastic, fun and creative’, Peter Pan will undoubtedly captivate a young audience with its stunning special effects, strong songs and top-notch performances" NoMoreWorkhorse.com
"The children in the Darling household are frustrated that their nightly episode of the adventures of Peter Pan has reached a real cliff-hanger and there’s no sign of the next part … when a fairy appears in the room followed by a young figure at the window. Soon, from the safety of the nursery – though I don’t like the look of Nanny Cookson – Wendy, John and Michael are flying off to Neverland to go native, battle pirates on the Jolly Roger, and rescue some very grubby lost boys.
Writer, lyricist, composer and director Paul Boyd has gone back and incorporated some of J.M. Barrie’s original ideas into this fresh adaptation of the classic tale which uses all kinds of nooks and crannies in the Lyric Theatre’s main auditorium to tell the story. Expect a few casting twists, steam punk costumes, a Mad Max soundtrack, some clever misdirection to divert your attention, and scenes that are stolen by the appearance of Nana the dog.
If you want to help reunite Peter with his shadow, experience the musical mermaids, witness some high flying jinks, laugh along with a toothy Miss Smee, marvel at the exuberant Peter Pan, join with Wendy as she learns to take risks, or sit back to enjoy Tiger Lily’s darling voice, then run away to Neverland and join Peter Pan’s gang" Alan In Belfast
★★★★ "Paul Boyd’s new musical adaptation of Peter Pan is a thing of beauty. It keeps faith with both the narrative of JM Barrie’s story of the boy who refused to grow up and the spirit of Mabel Lucie Attwell’s charming illustrations for its first edition. A combination of glorious sets, costumes and lighting effects, haunting music and expressive choreography successfully achieves a tricky balancing act between vintage and modern.
In a pretty nursery, sheltered by a starry sky, a sparky young girl called Wendy (Rhiannon Chesterman) is reading an exciting tale of pirates and fairies to her younger brothers Michael (Rea Campbell-Hill) and John (Christopher Finn). To their dismay, the last chapter is missing. The unannounced arrival at their window of Michael Mahony’s troubled bad boy Peter plunges them into the awfully big and perilous adventure that is that final episode.
A young group of local children forms the lost boys and wider ensemble, blending seamlessly with the top-notch professional cast, each one contributing excellent individual performances.
In keeping with Barrie’s early intentions, Allison Harding is a suitably threatening Captain Jess Hook. The theatrical highlight is the emergence of a trio of halo-haired mermaids, led with high camp operatic gorgeousness by Alan Richardson’s Queen Bah-Ree." The Stage
Neverland is in crisis. Pirates have arrived on the island and the Neverlanders are trying to keep them away. Things are so bad that the fairies have gone into hiding and the mermaids haven’t been seen in the open ocean since the battle began.
Peter Pan asks Wendy, John, and Michael if they will fly with him - second to the right and straight on till morning - to join Tinker Bell and the Lost Boys, to help free Neverland from Captain Hook’s men; but Wendy thinks it sounds much too dangerous.
With fairies, crocodiles, flying children, and mermaids, join the Darling children as they embark on the most magical adventure - where Hook and the crew of the Jolly Roger come face to face with all of Neverland and the boy who won’t grow up.
Promo featuring footage from the 2019 Lyric Theatre Belfast production
PHOTOS CLICK TO ENLARGE
Original Cast Recording to download from all major online stores!
Libretto (full script and lyrics) in a beautifully designed published edition featuring production photos. Worldwide shipping. Available in soft and hardcover!
The Even Hand
POSTERS CLICK TO ENLARGE
Lyric Theatre, Belfast November 2019 - January 2020