Volume 10 Week 10

Sunday, Dec. 14


Updated March 2

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Orléans Ward
Bob Monette





(Posted 11:30 a.m., May 16)

St. Peter Junior Players deliver entertaining version of stage classic
By Fred Sherwin
Orleans Online

Peter 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

Besides Grease, 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.

"Peter Pan 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 lousy acoustics.

My favourite 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.)

(This story was made possible thanks to the generous support of our local business partners.)

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