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11th December 2015, 1:17pm
Teamwork takes a bow as curtain goes up on new production of Peter Pan
Peter Pan (Nick Wilson): picture credit: Phil Crow Staff and students from the University of Lincoln, UK, will today (11th December 2015) raise the curtain on a spectacular new interpretation of Peter Pan, having worked together on every aspect of the production, from costume design to choreography.

This year’s Christmas family show at the University’s Lincoln Performance Arts Centre brings Drama, Music and Fashion courses together to stage the classic tale about the boy who never grew up, based on the original play by J.M.Barrie.

Performed by a cast of final-year BA (Hons) Drama students, the show is written and directed by Dr Dominic Symonds, Reader in Lincoln’s School of Fine & Performing Arts, who leads a cast of 16 students.

Mark Wilde, a lecturer and vocal coach in the School and an Olivier Award-winning opera singer, has composed and directs the music. Craig Morrow, Artistic Director for Lincoln Performance Arts Centre, is the producer of the show, supported by his professional team, including Technical Manager Michael Hoyle, who have developed the set, props and lighting design.

Megan Crossland, a graduate of Lincoln’s Fashion programme, has co-ordinated the costume design by a team of undergraduates in conjunction with Victoria Bellandini, Programme Leader for BA (Hons) Fashion, and lecturer Hannah Wroe.

Dr Symonds said: “We have a terrific cast who have worked very hard alongside the production and design teams. It’s been an all-round University effort. One of the main aspects this year is that we have brought together three of the subject areas in drama, music and fashion with staff and students collaborating since September to produce the show. It’s a big project – our biggest of the year. We do lots of performances in class and in front of students and small audiences, but this is one of our big annual events when we go out to offer the community of Lincoln something different at Christmas.”

Dr Symonds has continued with a tradition of setting the show “in the round” which creates an intimate theatrical atmosphere. This follows the success of four previous productions – most notably Alice’s Adventures in Winter Wonderland and The Lion, The Witch And The Wardrobe. This year’s spectacular set design features a pirate ship, an enormous full scale life-like tree for the Lost Boys’ camp and an inventive steampunk crocodile.

Dr Symonds said: “It’s a challenge for the students because they are not used to such a stage, while the audience, who are much closer than normal, are plunged into our world of Neverland.”

The lead role of Peter Pan is performed by Nick Wilson, 20, who started his drama career at the Misbourne School, Great Missenden, Buckinghamshire. He and Tom Watson, who plays Captain Hook, have had to undergo combat training in order to perfect a stage fight.

The pair were helped by Andrew Ashenden, associate lecturer at the Lincoln School of Fine & Performing Arts, who is a specialist in stage combat. Nick said: “That was probably the hardest part because I had never done anything like that before. We have to make it look real. This is by far the biggest production I’ve been involved in.  We are putting on some 20 shows and it will be a big test for all of us.”

The part of Tinkerbell is played by Rachel Mudd, originally from Hull, while Charlotte Fage, from Little Easton, near Great Dunmow, in Essex, is Wendy Darling. Rachel said: “It’s been hard work but great fun to be a part of. Everyone is excited about putting on a good show.”

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