A story for the child in all of us

Northern Ballet Theatre promises a magical Christmas adventure in Peter Pan

JM Barrie's classic play
Peter Pan, first staged in 1904, has never been surpassed. The poignant tale of the excluded boy who yearns to prolong the idyll of childhood still casts a magic spell.

JM Barrie's classic play Peter Pan, first staged in 1904, has never been surpassed. The poignant tale of the excluded boy who yearns to prolong the idyll of childhood still casts a magic spell.

Now, in the play's centenary, children and childlike adults in Leeds, Edinburgh, London and Manchester are being invited to "escape to Neverland", thanks to David Nixon, Northern Ballet Theatre's artistic director, who is choreographing Peter Pan together with NBT's regular dramaturge, Patricia Doyle. Performed by permission of Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity (to whom Barrie donated the rights), it has sets and lighting by the Olivier award-winning stage designer Peter Mumford, and promises a dazzling evening of wonder and escapism.

Dazzling, but also terrifying. Cocooned by Mumford's sets (the Darlings' home, the voracious Captain Hook's pirate ship and the magical landscape of a world beyond), this wonderful vision of eternal childhood evoking Tinkerbell and the Lost Boys and the magic power to fly, has been set to music (in his first ballet score) by the Oscar-winning composer Stephen Warbeck ( Shakespeare in Love, Billy Elliot, Charlotte Gray, Mrs Brown, Captain Corelli's Mandolin).

Two rising young stars, Christian Broomhall and Simon Kidd, who share the title role, are learning how to fly with the theatre flying experts Flying by Foy; and Jonathan Ollivier dances the role of Captain Hook.

As artistic director and choreographer, David Nixon ( Wuthering Heights, Beauty & the Beast, A Midsummer Night's Dream), voted director of the year 2003 by readers of Dance Europe magazine, explains, " Peter Pan has made a far-reaching impact on the world, revealing and appealing to the child in all of us.

"One of the main reasons for choosing Peter Pan for our Christmas show was the story's appeal for boys and girls alike - making it an ideal family show and a vehicle to showcase our talented male and female dancers. More than just a traditional Christmas ballet, our Peter Pan will incorporate flying dancers, puppets, mermaids and pirates! It's an 'adventure' in every sense of the word."

During the run, work starts on NBT's spacious new permanent home, shared with Phoenix Dance and abetted by £3m of lottery money, near Leeds' West Yorkshire Playhouse: another exciting prospect for this vibrant, accessible and innovative 37-strong touring dance troupe, which for 35 years, thanks to its former artistic director Christopher Gable, and Nixon's current enlightened regime, continues to bring delight to all ages.

'Peter Pan', Grand Theatre, Leeds, (0113-222 6222) Sat to 31 Dec; then touring ( www.northernballettheatre.co.uk)

Arts and Entertainment
Wonder.land Musical by Damon Albarn

Theatre

Arts and Entertainment

Film review

Arts and Entertainment
Innocent victim: Oli, a 13-year-old from Cornwall, featured in ‘Kids in Crisis?’
TV review
News
Northern exposure: social housing in Edinburgh, where Hassiba now works in a takeaway
books An Algerian scientist adjusts to life working in a kebab shop
Arts and Entertainment
Terminator Genisys: Arnie remains doggedly true to his word as the man who said 'I'll be back', returning once more to protect Sarah Connor in a new instalment

 

film review
Arts and Entertainment

festivals
Arts and Entertainment

Final Top Gear review

TV
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pete Doherty and Carl Barat perform at Glastonbury 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Lionel Richie performs live on the Pyramid stage during the third day of Glastonbury Festival

music
Arts and Entertainment
Buying a stairway to Hubbard: the Scientology centre in Los Angeles
film review Chilling inside views on a secretive church
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Williamson, left, and Andrew Fearn of Sleaford Mods
musicYou are nobody in public life until you have been soundly insulted by Sleaford Mods
Arts and Entertainment
Natalie Dew (Jess) in Bend It Like Beckham The Musical
theatreReview: Bend It Like Beckham hits back of the net on opening night
Arts and Entertainment
The young sea-faring Charles Darwin – seen here in an 1809 portrait – is to be portrayed as an Indiana Jones-style adventurer
film
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The Greek referendum exposes a gaping hole at the heart of the European Union – its distinct lack of any genuine popular legitimacy

    Gaping hole at the heart of the European Union

    Treatment of Greece has shown up a lack of genuine legitimacy
    Number of young homeless in Britain 'more than three times the official figures'

    'Everything changed when I went to the hostel'

    Number of young homeless people in Britain is 'more than three times the official figures'
    Compton Cricket Club

    Compton Cricket Club

    Portraits of LA cricketers from notorious suburb to be displayed in London
    London now the global money-laundering centre for the drug trade, says crime expert

    Wlecome to London, drug money-laundering centre for the world

    'Mexico is its heart and London is its head'
    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court that helps a winner keep on winning

    The Buddhist temple minutes from Centre Court

    It helps a winner keep on winning
    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'