Theatre, Children's
3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

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Charming immersive show for toddlers

No pirates, crocodiles and hopefully no lost boys in this sweet immersive show for ages one to three, which takes place in a snug pillowy dome fringed by copious inviting duvets. Tom Penn’s ‘Neverland’ is apparently loosely inspired by JM Barrie’s fictional realm of the same name, but the parallels aren’t particularly obvious and, given that they’ll be totally lost on the target audience anyway, it’s probably not worth worrying about too much.

Dressed like off-duty clowns, two female performers usher us in to the dome and invite us to get under the covers. Charmingly, they don’t speak English: one talks in French, one in Japanese. Everything is very simple and explained by gesture, but there is the sense of a magical realm in which language is no barrier. The show is largely based on projections of turning seasons and whatnot, augmented by the performers doing stuff like chucking around fabric leaves and pretending their hands are fish. 

After some initial suspicions, my 18-month-old hurled himself into it wholeheartedly, exploding with noisy delight during the most visually impressive section, when we appear to go underwater. He was still giddy as a goat at the end, squawking away frantically when it was supposedly time for the energy levels to drop and get everyone under the sheets again. Which was hilarious, but does highlight the fact that ‘Neverland’ is rather short (shy of the stated 45mins). There are practical reasons why a show for toddlers is brief, but at £20 a ticket (again, there are practical reasons for this) it’s definitely for those up for a bit of a splurge.


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