(Posted 11:30 a.m., May 16)
Junior Players deliver entertaining version of stage classic
By Fred Sherwin
Pan, played by Brandon Swann, and Cpt. Hook, played by John Kelly duel with
each other during the fight scene in the St. Peter Junior Players production
of 'Peter Pan and Wendy'. Photo supplied
Peter Pan has to be the most popular student production ever performed
in a school auditorium.
The St. Peter
Junior Players delivered their version of the classic tale of the boy who
never wanted to grow up all this week during a series of performances in
the school cafetorium.
I've been to
a number of
St. Peter Players productions in the past and I have always been struck
by the seemingly endless wealth of talent the students possess.
Now I know why,
they start them early at St. Pete's. The
St. Peter Junior Players are all in Grade 7 and 8 and many of them have
been studying theatre from a young age having gone to the Orleans Young
Players Theatre School.
and Wendy", as the St. Peter Junior Players production is called, features
Catherine Jounelle as Wendy and Brandon Swann as Peter Pan. Both actors
deliver strong performances as does the rest of the cast, but for my money
John Kelly, who plays Cpt. Hook, and Chantal Houser, who plays Toodles,
managed to turn the play from just another high school production of Peter
Pan, into an wonderfully fun and entertaining experience.
Houser was especially
hilarious with her performance that often border on being over the top,
but was perfect for her character, and Kelly's portrayal of Hook constantly
priming his hair and posing for the audience was absolutely marvelous.
But what I really
liked about the entire cast was their allocution. The older
St. Peter Players have the benefit of being miked up in their performances,
the Junior Players do not have the same luxury. That said, every word of
the Peter Pan performance came across loud and clear, despite the
moment of the play was the fight scene between the Lost Boys and the pirates
which stole a page from the Matrix series of films and included a
slow motion sequence. Again, brilliant.
I also liked
the use of the chorus as narrators. The only thing I didn't like was the
portrayal of Tinkerbell as a spot of light and the sound of chimes. It minimized
the character's role to the point where, by the end, I didn't really care
a heck of a whole lot about her.
I can only presume
they took the route they did because Tinkerbell is supposed to be so tiny.
However, this is make believe and anything is possible in the land of make
believe including a life-size Tink.
Again the cast
did a superb job and I look forward to seeing most of them at the senior
level over the next four years in various upcoming St. Peter Players productions.
The pirates were
played by Caroline Williams, Vanessa Campbell, Brianna Bailey, Alex Panneston
and Jordan Branker. Esther Barrett played Smee, Adam Watts played John and
Christopher McKay played Michael, Ryan Collins played Mr. Darling and Mikayla
Lochbihler played Mrs. Darling.
Oh, and I almost
forgot. Tori Mitchell did triple duty as Nana, the Darlings' dog, the Never
bird and a member of the chorus.
The entire cast
and crew were led by St. Peter Junior Players director and producer Annick
Levasseur who was assisted by Grade 12 student Alicia Bacile.
(The St. Peter
Junior Players will be wrapping up their production of "Peter Pan and
Wendy" with one final performance tonight in the school cafetorium.
Curtain time is 7 p.m. Doors open at 6:30 p.m.)
story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local
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