If you haven’t yet been to a play at Eternity Playhouse, now is a great time. Firstly because the restored heritage building is one of the most magnificent small theatres in Sydney, and secondly because Christopher Harley’s new production Remembering Pirates is now showing.
Played out on a minimalistic stage, the Darlinghurst Theatre Company revisits the classic tale of Peter Pan in the most interesting of ways. Set in modern times, we meet grown-up Wendy (Emma Palmer) whose life has become considerably more problematic since her days in Neverland. Wendy juggles her troubled brother John (Simon London) as he continues to mourn their other brother’s childhood disappearance, her aged father (Robert Alexander) who can’t remember who Wendy is, and her egocentric husband (Stephen Multari) who can’t stand Wendy’s family.
Strongly acted, and fast at 55-minutes, the play is consistent. However, its changing pace between moments of quick intensity followed by lengthier (slightly dragged-out) discussions between characters becomes jarring at times, and a challenge to watch easily. But perhaps that was what director Iain Sinclair wanted.
It’s much darker than anything J.M. Barrie’s Peter Pan eluded to, but there are certainly moments for interesting reflection. Wendy’s father (played brilliantly by Alexander) whose life within an aged-care home beautifully contrasts Pan’s plight to remain forever young, a powerful example.
For any Pan fans, or anyone looking for one very interesting take on a classic, go and check it out. (CW)
Until Oct 16, evenings and matinees. Eternity Playhouse, 39 Burton Street, Darlinghurst. $30-$45. Tickets & info: www.darlinghursttheatre.com
BY CHANTAL WALSH