Bacup Royal Court Theatre
B.E.S.T.S (Bacup Educational Stage Theatre School)
Directors/Mentors Juliette Shepherd & Rheanna Thomas
The wonderful story of Peter Pan, adapted by Jon Jory, was a perfect choice for this ACT in Training group. In this version we have Wendy’s story without Nanna, Michael or John. The libretto also states, “no flying version”. Any production of Peter Pan without the flying scene would let the audience down. However, Bacup Royal Court Theatre is fast becoming leaders in visual effects through projection. Blue scene filming added to the projected imagery, with voice-overs of Peter and Wendy flying, was magical. All the scenery slides looked almost 3D and were of the highest quality. This can create a problem for wardrobe in matching up the quality but this was not the case with this presentation as everybody on stage were well costumed. The overall effect mean that the technical teams brought atmosphere to the storytelling.
B.E.S.T.S., through the vision of its mentors, trained the junior cast for its first stage production together with one or two cast members borrowed from sister group, B.Y.T.E.S. This energetic, enthusiastic junior cast gave authenticity to the lost boys of Neverland and Captain Hook’s Pirates led by Smee, were as yo–ho as they could be. The standard of work that was achieved was noticeable; the ensemble work was strong displaying that essential teamwork. It was surprising how the performers adapted to the stage using the space well, not blocking themselves or being hidden behind those all-important sightlines. They engaged with the audience and paved the way for the principal characters.
Character development again was at the forefront. There was such an understanding of the roles and what was expected from each of the principal playters. Relationships between Peter, Wendy and Tinkerbell were believable and truthful. This seemingly never ending story introduces Wendy’s daughter, Jane, who was effortlessly portrayed. Peter Pan’s arch enemy, the villainous Captain Hook. He also was credibly depicted. With such a level of confidence the cast had all bonded with their characters. The skills these young thespians have learnt were put into practice creating a fun filled adventure.
This production was charming entertainment full of effervescence. It was a credit to everyone involved.