Travels With JB

Travels With JB

Travel news and reviews

Ensuring a show aimed at young children appeals to their parents and grandparents is always a challenge for anyone staging such a production.

The cast of Adventures in Neverland from left Joanna Haliday (Smee), Tref Gare (Professor Seastone), Cassidy Dunn (Emma), Shanu Sobti (Tink) and Jackson Peele (Captain Hand).*

The Melbourne Shakespeare’s Company has done just this with its newest production, Adventures in Neverland.

References to $12 cups of coffee, My Kitchen Rules and Sydney vs Melbourne rivalry ensured plenty of laughs from the adults in the audience of the 60-minute show within the grounds of Malvern’s Central Park.

A resourceful young girl, a feisty fairy, bumbling pirates, a hard of hearing turtle and lots of songs, colour and movement kept younger audience members entertained.

From left: Shanu Sobti (Tink), Joanna Haliday (Smee) and Cassidy Dunn (Emma).*

Adventures in Neverland tells of the soccer loving Emma (Cassidy Dunn) who finds her self and her ball in Neverland after scoring a goal.  Here she comes across fairy Tink (Shanu Sobti) who helps Emma lose her fear of the surrounding enchanted forest.  Tink is, however, fearful of the thieving pirate Captain Hand (Jackson Peele).

After Captain Hand steals Tink’s magic wand, the only thing that can help Emma return to her family, they set out to find the pirate and retrieve the wand. Joining them in their quest is turtle Professor Seastone (Tref Gare). Captain Hand has stolen the batteries of the turtle’s hearing aide.

Their success in retrieving the wand sees Captain Hand turn against his faithful pirate assistant Smee (Joanna Haliday) whom he banishes.  Needless to say, everything is happily resolved!

Jackson Peele (Captain Hand) and Joanna Haliday (Smee).*

Both the script and the many original songs, performed by the cast, stress the importance of courage, friendship and working together.

The catchy songs and several opportunities for kids and older members of the audience to dance and sing ensured there was little time for anyone to get restless.

As a result, a good time was had by all including the talented cast who seemed to love what they were doing and who humorously interacted with audience members that included an enthusiastic labrador and a talkative youngster.

Adventures in Neverland is playing at Malvern’s Central Park until March 10.  Visit The Melbourne Shakespeare Company’s website for more information and tickets.

*Photo credit: Evangeline Kepler.

Jenny Burns attended the performance of Adventures in Neverland as a guest of the production company.

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