Review of 'Peter Pan Goes Wrong'

Mischief Theatre


We recorded a performance of this play from the BBC last Christmas. Since then we have watched it a number of times and shown it to our visitors also as we enjoyed it so much. Performed (in real life) by the “Mischief Theatre” this “play within a play” is ostensibly of “Peter Pan” performed by (in the play) by the “Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society” however everything that can goes wrong, does. Before the curtain goes up the cast are seen disturbing the audience when looking for a wrench (crawling along the floor of a fully seated row, etc) and there are electrical problems on the stage with the lights flickering throughout. The play eventually begins but disasters quickly follow: The “dog” gets stuck in the dog flap, the bunk beds come crashing down onto the Darling children, Peter Pan flies around in a truly horrifying manner, crashing into bits of the set…There is another level to the story and that is of the players themselves as we learn of various love intrigues amongst the players through the convenient device of mis-recorded background audio. At the end we are cheering for the underdog: A underappreciated but charming player…

Brilliantly written and a whole lot of fun. Watching this at Christmas is quite appropriate with the bit about the director refusing to consider the play a pantomime (though it so much is) and arguing continuously with the audience. It has to be said there is a good amount of friendly banter with the audience though participation is kept to a minimum, perhaps for the best considering the pratfalls and “accidents” throughout. The cast do really seem to give their all to the performance which really helps sell the whole experience - Diving through walls, falling to the floor, flying into walls, riding misbehaving set turntables…The timing must be impeccable – and it is. Yeah, it is a whole lot of silliness and often quite lame, but, of course, that is part of the whole experience with the cast (performing the cast) taking themselves seriously that keeps the audience in stitches.

The dialog and story is such that all members of the family should be happy with little in the way of sexual innuendo that you might find in a seasonal pantomime nor any cruel humour. It is all in good fun and at the end of the day the audience reacted with an enthusiastic ovation.

There are some slower moments such as in the second half but it does build to a tremendous finale, “oh yes it does!” “Peter Pan Goes Wrong” is an enjoyable treat for the whole family but put any ideas of seriousness aside at the door. A great load of fun but not for those who are not fans of farce…

Rating: “Nearly perfect, but not quite”

Review Date: 2019-12-15

Alexandra Palace Theatre

Location: London (England)

Address: Alexandra Palace Way London N22 7AY ENGLAND

Public Transport: NRLOGO Alexandra Palace TUBE Wood Green

Telephone: +44 (0) 20 8365 2121


Restoration of this Victorian theatre was completed in 2018 providing a wonderful venue at the top of London. The walls have been left pretty much untouched giving it a fairly rough appearance but the facilities are top notch.


There is a bar in the lobby (and generally outside the main doors) with the massive toilet facilities accessible to the right of the main entrance.