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Co-op Juniors Theatre Company bring Neverland to Snape Maltings this Christmas

PUBLISHED: 10:56 10 December 2014 | UPDATED: 11:00 10 December 2014

Peter Pan (Karl Lankester) and Wendy Darling (Anna Watson) in The Co-op Juniors Theatre Company's Christmas Spectacular in Neverland. Pictures: Mike Kwasniak.

Peter Pan (Karl Lankester) and Wendy Darling (Anna Watson) in The Co-op Juniors Theatre Company's Christmas Spectacular in Neverland. Pictures: Mike Kwasniak.

www.mikekwasniak.co.uk

It's been 10 years since The Co-op Juniors Theatre Company's first Christmas Spectacular.

Peter Pan (Karl Lankester), Wendy Darling (Anna Watson), John Darling (Haydn Ingram) and Michael Darling (Toby Linsell) in The Co-op Juniors Theatre Company's Christmas Spectacular in Neverland. Pictures: Mike Kwasniak.Peter Pan (Karl Lankester), Wendy Darling (Anna Watson), John Darling (Haydn Ingram) and Michael Darling (Toby Linsell) in The Co-op Juniors Theatre Company's Christmas Spectacular in Neverland. Pictures: Mike Kwasniak.

Eight thousand costumes, 280 song and dance routines, 10 sets, one giant swan and a full-sized steam locomotive later, they’re inviting you to take the second star to the right and straight on ‘til Snape Maltings this year.

Penned by musical director Nigel Virley, Neverland is an original tale inspired by JM Barrie’s classic story of the boy who never grew up - full of favourites including pirates, indians, the Lost Boys and fairies.

Used to the untroubled parent-free life of Neverland, John, Michael and Wendy Darling’s arrival shows them all the power of family and the true meaning of Christmas.

The show features a cast of nearly 90, ranging from seven year olds to those approaching retirement.

Among them are Anna Watson, who was just seven when the curtain rose on the first Christmas Spectacular. Now an experienced performer, she plays Wendy in this year’s show as she prepares to train at drama school next year.

Likewise Georgia Sayer, who has gone from tiny tot to playing Tiger Lily ahead of university next summer.

It’s a packed show said Richard Rumbellow, who played Scrooge in last year’s spectacular.

“It’s a classic story. I’m Captain Hook - it’s fun being a pirate - and the numbers cross all boundaries.”

Spanning the Edwardian rooftops of London to the jungles and mermaid lagoons of Neverland, songs include Eye of the Tiger, The Heat Is On, Born to Be Wild, I’m Still Standing, Footloose, That’s How You Know, Defying Gravity and lots more.

Given the latter, can we expect some aerial action?

“If you didn’t have flying you wouldn’t have Peter Pan would you? As far as we’re concerned it is (the first time they’ve flown somebody at Snape),” added Rumbellow, also responsible for the new-look set.

“The costumes are very good too. Parents must have been busy for the last four or five months, some of the cast have probably nearly a dozen changes.”

The Co-op Juniors Theatre Company’s Christmas Spectacular in Neverland is co-directed by Pauline Walker and Jeannie Ingram.

It runs at Snape Maltings Concert Hall from December 12-21.See my exclusive review and pictures online tomorrow.

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