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A play about a play that goes wrong isn’t a new concept, but it’s certainly a winning one for Mischief Theatre Company - as the mountain of accolades they’ve received for Peter Pan Goes Wrong ably illustrates.

The show finds the fictitious Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society - already familiar to audiences from Mischief’s Olivier Award-winning The Play That Goes Wrong - attempting to mount a production of the JM Barrie children’s classic.

It goes without saying, of course, that anything which can go wrong, does go wrong, in what proves to be an am-dram production from the very pits of hell!

And myriad accidents, falling scenery and technical mishaps are only part of the story. Forgotten lines, backstage hostility, love affairs, stage fright and a general lack of talent or acting ability are also thrown into the mix, just for good measure.

Make sure you arrive early to enjoy the pre-show chaos caused by the incompetent crew setting up the stage. If you’re in the stalls, you might even find yourself roped into finding a missing hammer - an endeavour that’s all part and parcel of Mischief building a great rapport with the audience.

The show’s staging is very clever. The Darlings’ house and various locations in Neverland are part of a revolving stage which inevitably malfunctions throughout the course of the show, rather painfully for some characters!

There are also some predictable but very funny flying-related mishaps to enjoy, with actors swinging helplessly into scenery or finding themselves hanging upside-down, and occasionally abruptly disappearing from the stage.

The am-dram production of Peter Pan is being directed by the highly strung and rather pretentious Chris (Jack Michael Stacey). He’s also starring as Captain Hook and Mr Darling, and throws the most extraordinary temper tantrums when things don’t go his way. Think John Cleese as Basil Fawlty.

Every one of the cast deserved a special mention last night, but I particularly enjoyed Jean-Luke Worrell’s flamboyant performance as Francis. He also played a pirate called Cecco, who at one point is given insufficient time for a costume change - a situation that proved to be highly amusing thanks to his excellent comic timing.

If you enjoy the Goes Wrong format, I’m sure you’ll be delighted by this production. I was entertained as much by the audience finding the experience hilariously funny as I was by the chaos on stage. Yes, it made me laugh a lot, and I thought it was both well written and creative. And yes, I very much appreciated its high level of energy and the excellent performances of all those involved. And yes, there’s no question that, for the majority of folks with the right sense of humour, this will be an undoubtedly brilliant night out at the theatre. But despite really, really wanting to, I didn’t manage to love it quite as much as those around me.

4 Stars

Peter Pan Goes Wrong was reviewed by Sue Hull on Monday 18 March at Birmingham theatre The Alexandra, where it shows until this Saturday (23 March)