The cast of “Peter Pan Goes Wrong,” a comedy production staged by Arts Club Theatre Company. (Photo: Eric Kozakiewicz)

The cast of “Peter Pan Goes Wrong,” a comedy production staged by Arts Club Theatre Company. (Photo: Eric Kozakiewicz)

THEATRE

Tears of laughter for ‘Peter Pan Goes Wrong,’ a timely comedy from Arts Club Theatre Company

Actors struggle to go on with a disastrous staging of ‘Peter Pan’

Need a laugh? Go see “Peter Pan Goes Wrong,” the latest Arts Club production at the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage in Vancouver.

The zany, physical comedy offers proper post-pandemic fun from the theatre company, which employs an all-Canadian cast in the North American debut of the British-made play.

With good reason, the show has been an international hit with a script that follows the Cornley Drama Society as it stages a production of J.M. Barrie’s fantasy, “Peter Pan.”

As the title suggests, things go wrong.

Very wrong.

Props malfunction, costumes go missing, lines are butchered, lighting misfires, audio glitches and mayhem ensues as the actors struggle to go on with the disastrous show.

In pantomime style, the bad guy (Captain Hook) is booed, and audience members become part of the show at times.

I cried with laughter Wednesday night (Sept. 14) as the show reminded me of SCTV sketch-com gold.

• RELATED STORY: Nanaimo actor in ‘Peter Pan Goes Wrong’ play within a play.

Bravo to Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, Henry Shields for writing the very funny script, and cheers to Samara Von Rad and Janine Waddell for overseeing the stunts and fight choreography, especially the revolving-stage scene near show’s end.

On stage until Oct. 16, the two-hour Arts Club production is presented by arrangement with Mischief Theatre Worldwide and in association with Citadel Theatre. Visit artsclub.com for tickets, show times and more info.

Meantime, Surrey Civic Theatres’ 2022-23 “Presentation Series” will hit the stage without any Arts Club Theatre Company shows.

The Vancouver-based company has decided not to send any of its productions on tour this fall/winter. For many years the Surrey Arts Centre has staged three Arts Club plays per season, for multi-night runs.

Instead, a “robust and fulsome selection of theatre shows” will be offered by Surrey Civic Theatres in 2022-23, including a Triple Threat Theatre Series designed for people looking for an Arts Club-like experience in Surrey.

The Presentation Series includes Coffee Concerts, Surrey SPARK Stages kids and family performances, holiday shows and more, from mid-September until late May. Details are posted to surrey.ca/theatre.



tom.zillich@surreynowleader.com

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