Peter Pan Goes Wrong

Theatre , Comedy Apollo Shaftesbury , Soho Until Sunday January 29 2017
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(9 user reviews)
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 (© Alastair Muir)
© Alastair Muir

Greg Tannahill (Jonathan & Peter Pan) and Nancy Wallinger (Annie, Lisa, Tinker Bell & Tiger Lily)

 (© Alastair Muir)
© Alastair Muir

Charlie Russell (Sandra & Wendy Darling)

 (© Alastair Muir)
© Alastair Muir
 (© Alastair Muir)
© Alastair Muir
 (© Alastair Muir)
© Alastair Muir
 (© Alastair Muir)
© Alastair Muir
 (© Alastair Muir)
© Alastair Muir
 (© Alastair Muir)
© Alastair Muir

Another fine mess from the team behind 'The Play That Goes Wrong'

This review is from 'Peter Pan Goes Wrong's 2015/16 run. It returns for 2016/17

Peter Pan soars! Or doesn’t, in this extremely funny follow-up to ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’, which transferred from a fringe venue to the West End, won an Olivier for Best New Comedy earlier this year and gladdened the hearts of theatre-makers everywhere. The original cast are back for this production.

If you saw ‘The Play That Goes Wrong’, there are few surprises here. It’s an ingeniously simple premise: drop an audience into a fourth-wall-breaking performance of a show that falls apart spectacularly from the first scene. Here, that’s an adaptation of JM Barrie’s ‘Peter Pan’, directed and starring the pompous Chris (Henry Shields), who – in spite of his amusingly seasonal, pissed-off insistence that this is ‘not’ a panto – is properly boo-hissable. And not just as Captain Hook.

The real director of ‘Peter Pan Goes Wrong’, Adam Meggido (who’s just had huge West End success as co-creator of ‘Showstopper! The Improvised Musical’), stages everything beautifully, creating a breathlessly chaotic atmosphere that distracts us from the obvious technical skill and sophistication necessary in order to make everything break down so hilariously.

There’s some inevitable flying-related japery, with the ‘actors’ swinging haplessly into scenery or abruptly disappearing. But while this – and the various set malfunctions – are good for quick laughs, it’s the cast’s comic timing that really powers it, from Nancy Wallinger’s absurd, interpretive dance as Tinkerbell, to Jonathan Sayer’s headphone-saddled Dennis, repeating everything from his lines to an off-stage break-up.    

It all feeds into a delicious fantasy of theatre’s worst excesses, with petty rivalries, aching artistic pretentiousness and Peter and Wendy’s back-stage bonking all ‘accidentally’ exposed to us like someone caught with their pants down. Mean-spirited? Not really. It’s so deftly exaggerated, it’s the real panto here. And in the sweetly sincere Max (Dave Hearn), so proud of being the crocodile, we have someone to root for.

To succeed, this kind of play – with its successive catastrophes – needs the same suspension of disbelief as a found-footage horror film. When the latter’s good, you forget they could just drop the camera and run. Same here. This is a joyfully silly show that unpacks itself like a festive treat, about a production whose stream of failures you won’t want to end. Bah haha humbug.

Venue name: Apollo Shaftesbury
Address: Shaftesbury Avenue
Transport: Tube: Piccadilly Circus
Price: £20-£49.50. Runs 2hr 5min

Average User Rating

4.6 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:2
  • 3 star:1
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
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Vishaal V

Hilarious! A very unusual but very comical take on Peter Pan. Should be seen regardless of whether you are a Peter Pan fan or not. Not quite as good as Mischief Theatre's longest running play The Play That Goes Wrong, though still well worth watching. Great opportunities for crowd participation, which are well timed and very good fun. 

The humour is slapstick (like Fawlty Towers) so it may not suit everyone's send of humour. 

Laura B

The concept of this is very very similar to The Play That Goes Wrong. I feel I would have laughed more if I'd not previously seen 'Play' as they follow the exact same formula, but this was enjoyable nonetheless. The cast (and writers) are very talented and the comedy moments are thick and fast. It is utter ridiculous British slapstick at its best. The most perfectly worked scene is that with the galleon, the bedroom, the forest and the revolving stage. Utter genius and credit to all involved. Love The Mischief Theatre and will continue to watch everything they do. 

Staff Writer

The cast from the "Play that goes wrong" is back on stage with a new hilarious epic and theatrical play called "peter Pan Goes Wrong". This play is simply hilarious you will laugh from the moment you enter into the theatre looking for your seat until the final curtain! The cast returns on stage in the classic Peter Pan's story and will try to take you to Neverland (if they make it!). Great evening, you must book your ticket asap if you want to get a chance to see this play as it ends on 30 January 2016.


Best thing I saw in 2015. Made me laugh out loud and I really hope they bring it back in 2016. rip roaringly funny show.

jan t

We had seen the play that goes wrong and this was fantastic too.  The actors are brilliant and the scenery so clever. Had to keep wiping the tears of laughter  away. cant wait to see their next production


Went with some family members and expected to be as entertained and amused as I was by the Play That Goes Wrong.  Despite a competent performance, I was sadly disappointed by the very obvious mishaps and overlong drawn-out scenes.  My companions, however, who hadn't seen Play That Goes Wrong, thought it was hilarious.  So maybe I had lost the surprise element - in which case I won't be going to see their next play

Daniel L

Come with some expectations... and prepare for them to be smashed, and bettered! There is slapstick humour, there is try-too-hard humour, but there is mischief theatre company humour. Personally, the latter is my favourite and this show is another great example of it. I came after an enjoyable experience at "The Play That Goes Wrong", and I suspect many in the audience were also here because of the earlier show. This takes the same blueprint and puts it into one of the classic stories, Peter Pan! The lines are quick-witted and the plot is simple but the props are so well prepared that ironically, everything doesn't work as intended! I am amazed no one gets hurt, which shows how believable the "accidents" are. The audience is left laughing and even heckling the cast (also might have to do with the fact that I watched the show on Panto Day and there were many Panto elements in the show). I was sad when the show ended, but when the audience was told there would be a new one (The Comedy About a Bank Robbery - what a great title!) it put the smile back on my face. Obviously I went to buy tickets first thing I went home. Great job mischief theatre! Break a leg!


A friend recommended this to me - I, in turn, recommend it to your readers. It is hilarious! I haven't laughed that much in a long time. The production is a wonderful mix of well known children's story expertly blended with some side-splitting West End style farce. The result is a riotous evening of laughter and physical humour. One for all the family. Lastly, it was my first visit to the Pleasance. What a great little theatre with Shillibeers next door for a pre or post show supper.

Tami Snyder

A humorous comedy, with an original story going wrong. I found this amazing and absolutely hilarious. I definatly rate this a 5 star show, I bet most adults and many children would love this production. By Tami Snyder, age 10, in London