‘It’s got everything!’ Peter Pan to bring some magic to the Alban Arena

The Maltings Theatre presents Peter Pan at The Alban Arena in St Albans this Christmas. Picture: Maltings Theatre

The Maltings Theatre presents Peter Pan at The Alban Arena in St Albans this Christmas. Picture: Maltings Theatre - Credit: Maltings Theatre

A magical family production of Peter Pan flies into St Albans next week.

Emma Wright and Anna Franklin will appear in Peter Pan at The Alban Arena in St Albans. Picture: Maltings Theatre

Emma Wright and Anna Franklin will appear in Peter Pan at The Alban Arena in St Albans. Picture: Maltings Theatre - Credit: Maltings Theatre

Produced by OVO/Maltings Theatre, J.M. Barrie’s timeless tale can be seen at the Alban Arena from Friday, December 11 to January 3, 2021.

Ahead of opening night, we caught up with two of the stars of the show – St Albans residents Anna Franklin and Emma Wright, who takes on two roles.

Emma said: “I’m playing Mrs Darling – mother to Wendy, John and Michael – and Tiger Lily, the leader of the tribe.

“The doubling of these two roles has been really interesting: it has brought out a more assertive side to Mrs Darling and a fiercely protective aspect to Tiger Lily, and I have really enjoyed the contrast between Mrs Darling’s serene Edwardian movement and Tiger Lily’s primitive, feline physicality.

The cast of the Maltings Theatre's production of Peter Pan that will appear at The Alban Arena in St Albans this Christmas.

The cast of the Maltings Theatre's production of Peter Pan that will appear at The Alban Arena in St Albans this Christmas. Picture: Maltings Theatre - Credit: Maltings Theatre


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“We’ve found a new take on both characters by linking them, but I don’t want to give away the thread that ties them together!”

As for Anna, she explained: “I’m playing the Narrator, a role created specifically for this production.

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“The original play predates the novel by seven years, and contains these great swathes of beautiful stage directions, which are written like a novel and contain lots of gorgeous descriptions of people and places and ideas, which we wanted to include as they really add to the text.”

Both performed at the Maltings Theatre’s open-air festive in August, and Emma is looking forward to soaking up the atmosphere at the Alban Arena.

She said: “The performances at the Roman Theatre in the summer were incredible: you could feel the audience with you every step of the way.

“And I think if you combine this with an even bigger venue, the Alban Arena, a classic tale, and Christmas, it’s going to be really wonderful.

“I truly believe people who come along will be able to forget about the challenges of 2020 for a couple of hours and enjoy a really charming, magical Christmas show.”

Emma added: “While we usually go as a family to watch the panto at the Arena, I think this show is brilliantly different, and I think audiences will really be caught up in its magic.

“It is funny, inventive, touching by turn: it sounds corny but there really is something in it for everyone.”

Those thoughts were echoed by Anna.

“It’s got everything! Magic and music and joy and just a touch of sentiment and loss.

“I think it will entertain and move people.”

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