There is a glamour of magic around Peter Pan that has enchanted children – young and old – for more than 100 years.
Now a new generation is about to make the story of the boy who wouldn’t grow up its own – and take audiences along on the ride to Neverland.
Castlegate Theatre Company will take to the stage with Peter Pan – The Musical at Aberdeen Arts Centre next week and the talented cast is ready to fly high, said director Julie Hutton.
“This is a slightly more modern version, so the songs are more upbeat and quite catchy,” she said.
“And of course, everyone knows the story of Peter Pan so it has an appeal for everyone from two to 82, as they say.”
There were challenges to bringing Peter Pan to stage at the Arts Centre – including those famous flying sequences that add to the magic.
“We will not have a flying rig, so we had to come up with creative ways to make it look magical,” said Julie. “It will be a combination of lighting and special effects, we will have a video wall. We are not going to have the kids standing on a box waving their arms and saying ‘I’m flying, look at me’ which I have seen done.
“We want something a little bit more special…and it will look wonderful.”
But the real magic that will happen on stage comes from the kids – all 37 of them aged from seven to 16, said Julie. She said: “There’s something for everyone in the cast. There’s a bit of action, the challenge of acting, the fun of the costumes and, of course, a bit of fighting with the pirates.”
So just what is the lasting appeal of Peter Pan? Julie reckons it’s not that hard to fathom.
“Maybe partly because it’s a local author. JM Barrie was from Kirriemuir so the story has its roots in the north-east of Scotland.
“But it is just the whole fairy story element, the magic, ranging from pirates to fairies to children being a little bit naughty and left to their own devices as Lost Boys.”
And she knows the audiences will love it, too.
“I think the big group numbers, the ensemble pieces, will make the audience go wow,” said Julie.
“What they are going to get is an extravaganza of children who are oozing the excitement and fun of being part of the show.
“They are also going to get a traditional fairy story they all know and a little bit of magic thrown in along the way.”
As we are chatting, it’s a little over two weeks to go until the curtain goes up on the show. A fraught time for any production.
Julie said: “In the two weeks leading up to it you can’t help think, will the cast all be there, will they remember their lines, will the set come together? It’s the culmination of a few months, but without that anxiety it wouldn’t be the same.
“Will it ever come together? Of course it will.”
Just like magic.