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The Return of Peter Pan

Music by Stephen Keeling     Book and lyrics by Shaun McKenna

Creative development by John Havu   

Orchestrations by Stef Mens

 

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THE RETURN OF PETER PAN is a wonderful new musical sequel to Peter Pan.

Concord Theatricals Berlin license the show. 

 

Brina has no time for stories - or her flakey mother - until a chance encounter with some strange old men leads her and her siblings to a startling Neverland adventure.

 

World premiere Theater Regensburg, Germany 04.11.23

 

Click here to visit Concord Theatricals for more information

 

 

The highly successful premiere production at Theater Regensburg played in repertoire from November 4th 2023 till June 16th 2024.
Directed by Sebastian Ritschel and Ronny Scholz
From a concept by Annette Leistenschneider
Musical Direction by Harish Shankar
Designed by Kristopher Kempf
Choreography by AnnaLisa Canton

The cast was led by Felix Rabas as Peter, Scarlett Pulwey as Brina, Alejandro Nicolas Firlei Fernandez as Hook, Fabiana Locke as Tink, Benedikt Eder as Tootman, Paul Kmetsch as Smee and Esther Baar as Jane.
Opera Chorus
Regensburg Philharmonic Orchestra
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The Mittelbayerische Zeitung writes about the premiere: "The opulent musical fairy tale is a highlight of the theatre season". The review in Buenenlichter : “The melodies get stuck in your head… wonderfully performed. The actors are a joy to behold and round off this imaginative, superbly realised family musical perfectly” and "The music of Stephen Keeling is largely reminiscent of classical music films or British musicals (such as Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)" and "The music of the piece is wonderfully performed by the Regensburg Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Harish Shankar." The run, in repertoire till February, is almost sold out. Images from the world premiere at Theater Regensburg by Marie Liebig.
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Teenager Brina is fed up.  Her mother is a flake, they have just been thrown out of yet another apartment and now they are being followed by some strange old men in Regent's Park.  Little does Brina know that, despite her teenage truculence, she is about to embark on the adventure of a lifetime.  
The strange old men who give them shelter are Peter Pan's Lost Boys, now grown old.  Brina and her brothers are whisked away to Neverland by Peter Pan and his feisty fairy companion Tinkerbell.
Neverland is much changed.  The Pirates have set up home in Lagoonland with the Mermaids.  All is peaceful and contented - until Captain James Hook escapes from the jaws of the Crocodile (whose throat was too narrow to swallow him whole).  Swearing revenge on Peter Pan, Hook gathers his old shipmates for one last swing of the cutlass.
They have not counted on Brina and the ingenuity of the Lost Old Men.   But can Brina bring herself to believe in magic?

Listen to demo recordings of The Big Adventures and Anywhere But Here 

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Reviews from the Regensburg production

"Flying high: 'The Return of Peter Pan' has an acclaimed world premiere in Regensburg," headlines the Mittelbayerische Zeitung.

"The production, which is lavishly equipped in every respect, can already be seen as one of the highlights of the season. [...] with wordplay, slapstick moments, great voices, an impressive musical implementation (conducted by Harish Shankar), magnificent choirs, sparkling lighting and an all-round successful stage design (stage and costumes: Kristopher Kempf)." (5.11.23)

MICHAEL SCHEINER

Mittelbayerische Zeitung

Premiere: November 04, 2023 – reviewed performance: November 19, 2023

Since I have always been quite fascinated by the imaginative story about Peter Pan and Neverland, I was also very interested in the world premiere of the musical "The Return of Peter Pan" (by Stephen Keeling and Shaun McKenna in the production by Sebastian Ritschel and Ronny Scholz) at the Theater Regensburg.

The play preserves almost all the popular characters from the story we know and tells them further, adapted to modern times. It's about Brina (Scarlett Pulwey), a punky, rebellious teenage girl. She is almost exclusively interested in her ninja mobile game and not at all in old-fashioned children's stories. Since their mother Jane (Esther Baar) can no longer pay the rent, they are thrown out of the apartment and have to spend the night in Kensington Gardens together with Brina's younger siblings Josh (Samuel Lachance) and Ellie (Zoe Ordaz de la Fuente). There they meet the "Old Men" who offer them accommodation and go along, although Brina is very skeptical. In the night, Peter Pan (Felix Rabas) suddenly appears there and offers the children to fly to Neverland with him and his fairy Tink (Fabiana Locke). Meanwhile, Captain Hook (Alejandro Nicolás Firlei Fernández) was trapped in the crocodile's mouth for many years and has now finally been able to free himself. Then he tries to gather his old crew around him again. But his pirates have married all the mermaids in the meantime and don't want to know anything more about being a pirate at first, only when Hook forces them because of their blood oath do they follow him again... Peter can't remember anything from the past, neither the pirates nor his lost boys. He only has Tink, but she is quite annoyed by his behavior towards her and is also jealous of Brina. That's why she lets herself be tempted to make common cause with Hook, she brings the ninja fighters from Brina's mobile game to life if he promises to believe in Tink forever in return. The ninjas attack Peter and the children, who are able to flee at first, but are then overwhelmed by Hook and Hook leaves Peter tied up on the Mermaid Stone, who is supposed to drown in the flood there over time. Tink at least saves the children and brings them home, even if they are very reluctant to leave Neverland. At home, Brina's mother Jane has meanwhile found out that the "Old Men" are actually the lost boys that Peter had sent away to find out if growing up is an adventure and perhaps appealing after all. Brina is able to convince the lost boys to fly back to Neverland with her and her siblings to free Peter. Hook, who now has Tink completely under his control, notices that Peter has been freed and plans another ambush for Peter. Meanwhile, Brina and the Old Men motivate Peter to fight Hook again to defeat him for good. And so it comes to the decisive fight between Hook and Peter....

The music of the piece by Stephen Keeling is largely reminiscent of classical music films or British musicals (such as Mary Poppins, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang), but also has jazzy moments in Tink's songs. In Captain Hook's songs, you usually work with a classic 3/4 time to show that he still comes from the earlier time or in the solo from his right hand Smee (Paul Kmetsch) harpsichord elements are built-in. Peter always has a rather calm baladic style in his songs, which could perhaps show that he always has all the time in the world, because he doesn't age. Some of the melodies also have quite catchy tunes and stay in your head at first. The music of the piece is wonderfully performed by the Regensburg Philharmonic Orchestra under the direction of Harish Shankar.

The costumes (Kristopher Kempf) are overall very colorful, eye-catching and modern, only Captain Hook still has the really classic pirate look and Tink's costume also looks quite familiar. Peter and Tink have also kept the usual color green, while the pirates and mermaids have the whole color palette represented.

The stage set is kept relatively simple, it consists of gray and colorful cubes, which are stacked differently and are very reminiscent of Tetris or Minesweaper. There are individual elements that can be moved up and down, sliding gates and the whole cube element can be rotated to switch to the different locations, at the beginning the family apartment, the house of the Old Men, Neverland, the Lagoon Bay, the Mermaid Rock. The whole element is also illuminated in different colors again and again. And stars or waves are also projected onto it in between.

Felix Rabas plays Peter Pan very expressively and his carefree and arrogance very convincing. He is also very present vocally and you like to listen to him.

Scarlett Pulwey plays both the rebellious, disinterested teenage girl Brina, as well as her change to enthusiasm very authentically. She has a strong stage presence both acting and singing.

Alejandro Nicolás Firlei Fernández is a blustering, authoritarian Captain Hook, who also manages to bring some comedy into the role every now and then. He is also vocally strong.

Fabiana Locke plays the different facets of Tink very convincingly, sometimes she is short-tempered, sometimes, sometimes sad/hurt and almost hopeless, you buy all of that from her. Vocally, she also shows the power woman time and again.

The child actors Samuel Lachance and Zoe Ordaz de la Fuente play the siblings Josh and Ellie very bright and enthusiastic and both have a great stage presence.

All the other actors also play their roles great, it is a pleasure to watch them and they round off this imaginative, well-realized family musical perfectly. (20.11.23)

CLAUDIA SORGENFREI

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