“There’s lots of slapstick comedy, with a nice narrative underneath it about the politics of the actors playing the parts” writer Jonathan Sayer tells Andy Howells about Mischief Theatre’s fun family show Peter Pan Goes Wrong which visits Cardiff’s New Theatre next week.
Mischief Theatre’s first show, The Play That Goes Wrong, played at the New Theatre in February 2014, and is now performing to packed houses in the West End. Having capped off their success with a Best New Comedy nomination at the 2015 Oliver Awards, they make their return to Wales after only a year to delight audiences young and old once more.
This time, the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society are putting on their version of Peter Pan but things don’t go very well. In fact, everything that could go wrong does! The journey to Neverland is a thrilling one but, for these accident-prone thespians, the thrills are unintentional and hilariously disastrous. “Its exactly the same as The Play That Went Wrong except bolder and braver with Peter Pan flying into the walls,” says Jonathan who co-wrote the show with Henry Lewis and Henry Shields.
Jonathan explains “One of our writers worked with Michael Green who wrote The Art of Coarse Acting which is a book on how to be a bad actor, he also wrote a few coarse plays which are plays in which things go wrong. All three of us fell in love with them and we thought it would be great to write something along the lines of that. but with our humour and voice coming through. I’m a huge fan of silent comedies, of Chaplin and Keaton, Laurel & Hardy so there’s a lot of those jokes re-imagined and put on stage along with new jokes of that ilk, big bold physical gags that make people laugh”
“The thing I love about the show is you can take kids to see it and its suitable, there’s a great universal appeal to it,” says Jonathan, “it will make you gasp as well as laugh, there’s a great story in there as well and you’ll go home laughing a lot with maybe a little tear in your eye at the end.”
- Peter Pan Goes Wrong is at the New Theatre from Tuesday 28 April – Saturday 2 May 2015. Tickets are on sale now with prices from £10.00 to £28.50. For further details about the show or to book tickets* visit newtheatrecardiff.co.uk or call the Box Office on (029) 2087 8889.
- A version of this interview by Andy Howells was published in The South Wales Argus entertainment supplement The Guide on April 24, 2015