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  • Writer's pictureHinton Magazine

Q&A with Slapstick Picnic about their upcoming UK summer tour of Peter Pan

Hinton Magazine spoke with director Nel Crouch about Slapstick Picnic's latest UK outdoor tour of Peter Pan.

Tell us a bit about your reimagined version of Peter Pan, what makes it different? Our version of Peter Pan takes J. M. Barrie's original script and mines it for as much silliness as we can find. Three actors play the Darling family, the Lost Boys, Pirates, a fairy, a mermaid and a dog at breakneck speed, rushing us from London to Neverland via Big Ben, pirate ships and lagoons. Peter Pan is a strange character, full of magic and wonder but sometimes a bit scary and often a bit sad. We've been enjoying exploring these sides of Peter, and questioning what it means to decide to never grow up. Why does Slapstick Picnic love to perform outdoors across the UK? Slapstick Picnic grew out of cycling outdoor Shakespeare company, The HandleBards. We've all got loads of experience touring outdoor shows all over the country, and we love how performing outside brings us closer to audiences. It also means that we have to make shows that are accessible and adaptable to lots of different spaces, meaning we can bring shows to all sorts of venues all over the country. What interests you about directing, how did you get into it? I love that directing is a collaborative craft - you're really only as good as the people around you. It also means that no matter how much I plan for rehearsals at home, once I'm in the room and working with a team I'm invariably shown something better than I could have ever imagined alone. That makes going to work so exciting! I got into directing through studying Drama at Bristol University, where I directed my first play with my pal Fiona (we were both too scared to go it alone. She's also now a professional theatre director). After university I formed a company, Bucket Club, with some university friends, and making work with them opened the doors I needed to make this my job.

What can audiences expect from your adaptation of Peter Pan? Audiences can expect an explosion of gingham, a spot of swashbuckling, some fancy dance moves and a very terrifying inflatable crocodile. Mostly though, they can expect to have loads of fun. What's your favourite moment in the show? I am obsessed with our Captain Hook, and in particular his costume made by our designer, Ella Barraclough. His final showdown with the crocodile is currently my favourite moment, but that could all change as I watch the show grow and adapt to its audiences!

Peter Pan tours to outdoor venues across the UK this summer until September 3rd 2023. Tickets available here:

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