Most of my friends kept singing praises about this production by Berliner Ensemble, Robert Wilson and CocoRosie, so I was really excited when I finally got to experience it last Saturday night.
A bilingual English-German production, Peter Pan is a reinvention of the classic tale of growing up, family and love. Melodramatic, surreal and haunting, it told the other side of the story that is so commonly glossed over with innocence and wonder for young children.
This staging was dark and whimsical all the same. Together with songs, choreography, dramatic make-up, interesting choice of costumes and a child-like touch on the set design, the world they created was dangerous, imaginative and filled with a kind of simplicity that most of us have forgotten while growing up.
I dare say that the magic of it all was really in the details and the little things. Textures, lights, colours, sounds, movements and even the way the set was changed.
It was everything.
And as a performer myself, I must say that the Berliner Ensemble is so incredibly inspiring. Versatile and full of surprises, their ability to switch between both languages easily and make full use of their voices in terms of tone, pitch and texture is amazing. The nuances were all well thought out and executed nicely.
A special shout out to Tinker Bell (performed by Christopher Nell) for his strong stage presence as well as his physicality and gestures for his character. He was fully in character and never once broke out of it. The wave of his hand, twitches of the body and his facial expressions were all on point whether he had lines or not. For me, he stole my heart for the show and when he sang about his unrequited love for Peter, it broke my heart.
But skills and technicalities aside, what I actually admire about them is how they have fun on stage – dancing, genuine smiles and really just being in the moment and doing what they do best: bringing the audience into their world and telling a story that may last for a lifetime for that two hours of pure dedication and discipline.
Most importantly,they were so appreciative of everyone. Saturday was the last show so the cast actually got the backstage crew members up on stage, musicians from the live band to stand up and applauded with the audience members after their bow. It was a very simple gesture but a strong one, I think. After all, everyone worked really hard on the show I am sure and the endless applause from us was well deserved.
It was truly breathtaking.
So, Peter Pan, please take me away to Neverland too. I want to live in this theatre world forever and never grow old.
Share it with me?
Because I will always leave my window open.