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ANU goes NUTS for Peter Pan

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Revel in childhood memory as you go back to the boy who never grew up.

For their first production of the year, the National University Theatre Society (NUTS) is bringing a story of magic, mermaids, pirates and fairies to ANU with their production of Peter Pan.

As Artistic Director Claire Holland explains, NUTS’ 2019 season is entitled ‘This Is Our Youth’, which led them to choose a production that embodied a youthful sentiment through and through.

“We are interested in stories about young people for young people,” says Claire. “Peter Pan perfectly encapsulates the essence of the 2019 season in providing in telling a story that’s core themes centres around childhood and growing up. Peter Pan is also an incredibly malleable production providing the directors’ opportunities to create a flexible script and add in some new and exciting physical devised theatre sequences.”

“Most of all Peter Pan is a tale of magic, of our childhood fears and walking into the unknown and the opportunity to create this ensemble-based timeless tale was too good to pass up.”

Filled with adventures, hopes and dreams, J. M Barrie’s classic tale is being adapted for the stage by Claire and Director Amy McDonald. And just like J. M Barrie, who was constantly updating the script, so are they.

“Amy and I both are interested in using physical devised theatre to create and tell a story,” says Claire. “This means that a lot of the show has been devised and created in collaboration with the cast to stage this incredible adventure. Several of the moments use lifts, movement sequences and such like so navigating how and why we move has been a challenge.”

“We have an ensemble cast of ten and each performer, with the exception of Jared Auer playing Peter Pan and Evie Laurence playing Wendy Darling performs as multiple different characters throughout the piece, as the story unfolds they will transform from a member of the Darling Household to a Lost Boy to a Pirate and back again.”

But those aren’t the only things that’ll be new. Peter Pan will also be the first production to take the stage at ANU’s new Kambri Drama Theatre, which Claire explains has been rethought by NUTS ahead of Peter Pan taking the stage.

“Amy and I have chosen to place the show in ‘theatre in the round’ this means that the action occurs in the centre of the space – the Kambri Drama Theatre – with the audience sitting around the periphery of the circle. This means we have had to stage the performance with strong consideration for audience members sight-lines to ensure a clear view of the action.

“All in all, this has been a challenging work of performance however a very rewarding and incredibly exciting one.”

the essentials

What: NUTS presents Peter Pan
When: 24 – 27 April
Where: Kambri Drama Theatre, ANU
Cost: Between $10 – $20
Tickets and more information: via Facebook

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