On Stage Disasters: When Peter Pan Goes REALLY Wrong!

On-stage calamities, trips into space and a French bulldog hidden in a handbag – no two days are the same for the cast of Peter Pan Goes Wrong. We asked the stars of the hit West End comedy, Harry Kershaw, Bailey Patrick and Bryony Corrigan to share their real-life disasters and tell us what makes them laugh their tights off:

Hi Harry, Bailey and Bryony! Peter Pan never grew up…can you think of one thing that you never grew out of?

Harry: As a child I bumped into things by mistake quite a lot. Sadly I haven’t grown out of that!
Bailey: Being excited about everything and anything. I still struggle to sleep on Christmas Eve or the day before I go on holiday and get pretty excitable around a swimming pool.
Bryony: Biting my nails. Unfortunately, Horrid habit.

There are some things you just never grow out of...
Are there some things you just never grow out of? Arrrr matey!

What’s the worst thing that’s gone wrong in Peter Pan Goes Wrong that shouldn’t…and did anybody notice?

Harry: There were two days of carnage during previews here at the Apollo. On the first day Bailey (who plays Trevor) and I collided with each other and my hook (which is heavy and metal) smashed into his face. He had a massive bruise on his face for some time but was back on stage the next day because he’s an absolute tank.
Bailey: I was hit in the eye with Captain Hook’s hook but covered it up with a bandage that I was wearing during the last 5 mins of the show and managed to make it through to the end using one eye whilst negotiating a spinning stage, catching Wendy, putting out a fire and unclipping Peter Pan. Members of the cast didn’t even notice until I disappeared rather sharpish just before the curtain call to A&E…
Bryony: It looked like an old school horror the way the blood had splattered. I think the audience thought it was just fake red blood…fortunately Bailey is fine now!!!!  

Watch that man - he's got a mean right hook!
Watch that man – he’s got a mean right hook!

If you could fly like Tinkerbell, where would you most like to go?

Harry: I’d watch the northern lights.
Bailey: I’d spend most of my time overlooking my beautiful city – London.
Bryony: I’d fly up to the solar system to look at the planets and stars!

If you could fly anywhere, where would you go?
If you could fly anywhere, where would you go?

What’s your favourite scene in the show?

Harry: I particularly like the parts of the show which are different every night. The audience really are an extra character in this show and that’s very fun to play with. Any of the scenes which are painful for Chris are great… So most of the show!
Bailey: It’s very difficult to answer that without spoiling the surprises and because I have so many favourite scenes in the show. However, I find it very hard to keep a straight face when Captain Hook and the pirates are all on stage together – especially the conversation between Hook, Cecco and Percy.
Bryony: Harry as Captain Hook has a scene on his own where he often ends up interacting with the audience. It’s hilarious and great for us to listen to as the cast as it is one of the parts that is truly different every night.

Bailey Patrick, Harry Kershaw and Bryony Corrigan
Bailey Patrick, Harry Kershaw and Bryony Corrigan

If you went to Neverland, what’s the one thing you’d take from home that you just couldn’t live without?

Harry: Contact lenses.
Bailey: My girlfriend and my French bulldog Alfie hidden in her bag. They both come everywhere with me and always have me in fits of laughter and make me smile every day.
Bryony: I have a sheet like a small blanket that I’ve had since I was little for bed. Probably that. Yeah, I should probably do some growing up too.

Who's afraid of the big bad...er...terrifying...crocodile?
Who’s afraid of the big bad…er…terrifying…crocodile?

Captain Hook was afraid of a crocodile. What are your phobias?

Harry: 
I get very nervous of standing too close to the yellow line at tube stations. If somebody is standing too close to the track I hate it.
Bailey: I don’t really have any, although I’m not particularly keen on snakes.
Bryony: Spiders – isn’t everyone?

Apart from Peter Pan (obviously!) what was your favourite story or book as a child?

Harry:
My grandfather used to read ‘The Night Before Christmas’ on Christmas Eve every year to all the family. I would hold a candle. It was excellent.
Bailey: Peter Pan was and still is my favourite. If I had to pick another I’d have to say Robin Hood.
Bryony: Green Eggs and Ham. Dr Seuss!!!! (“I do not like it Sam I Am”)

If I wear black, they'll never see me!
If I wear black, they’ll never see me!

Who should someone bring with them to see the show?

Harry:
I think it would make a brilliant date. If you enjoy watching people fall over you’ll have a great night. It’s a great alternative Christmas show.
Bailey: It’s been so skillfully written that the adults laugh and cry just as much as the children and are often even more enthusiastic to get involved with the mayhem. We’ve all been in situations where things go from bad to worse: It’s watching how the characters deal with these constant mishaps and push through their pains to ensure they finish the show that produces such face ache for the audience who always have such huge smiles on their faces as they leave.
Bryony: My grandparents come and love it, my 6-year-old cousins come and love it…anyone who has done amateur theatre or watched an amateur production or even a professional production where something has gone wrong. It’s a silly Christmas Bonanza completely driven by the heart!

“JOYFUL DISASTERS FROM COMEDY MASTERS. GORGEOUS!” Libby Purves, BBC Radio 4

“RIDICULOUSLY FUNNY” Peter Kay

You can book tickets here for Peter Pan Goes Wrong
Apollo Theatre
Until 29 January 2017

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Looking for perfect shows for any age? Check out our handy hints for taking kids to the theatre this Christmas!

The Go-Between: The Making of a Musical

If you’ve ever wondered how a West End Musical makes the leap from the page to the stage, then you’ll love our interview with Olivier Award winning writer, David Wood. From Goodnight Mister Tom to Fantastic Mr Fox, David’s career writing & adapting for Theatre and Children’s Literature spans six decades. His latest show, The Go-Between opens next week at the Apollo Theatre starring  Michael Crawford.

Hello David. Can you tell us how The Go-Between became a West End musical?

Read more

NELL GWYNN: RESTORATION BOND GIRL

“They’ve disgraced our trade. Ruined our art. They’ve put a woman on the stage.”

At first glance, James Bond and Restoration Comedy might not seem to be natural bed-fellows. But dig a little deeper and you’ll find both contain a world of brave, brash and bawdy women unafraid to charm and calculate their way to notoriety. The Pussy Galore of the Seventeenth Century was without doubt Nell Gwynn, a woman who helped to challenge the male dominated world of British Theatre and went on to immortality in the names of numerous pubs.

So who better to play this Jewel of the Restoration than Bond Girl Gemma Arterton? One of the finest young talents of her generation, don’t underestimate Arterton’s versatility. She is a fine stage actress with a hugely diverse CV ranging from leading roles in Ibsen’s The Master Builder (Almeida) to Made In Dagenham (Adelphi). Like Nell herself, Arterton is ambitious, witty and fearless.

Jessica Swale’s blissfully entertaining comedy, Nell Gwynn, comes to the Apollo Theatre from 4th February 2016. Nell Gwynn celebrates an unlikely heroine, who went from Front of House orange seller to top comedy Actress, winning the adoration of the public and the heart of the King in the process.

Nell Gwynn by Jessica Swale
Nell Gwynn by Jessica Swale: Feat. Gemma Arterton

Although best known now as the mistress of King Charles II, here are five things you may not know about Nell Gwynn:

  1. She was nick-named “Cinder Nelly” and did actually buy a glass carriage!
  2. She had a mouth like a sewer
    Courtiers at the Palace said ‘Anybody may know she has been an orange-wench by her swearing’
  3. Her son was the Duke of St Albans
    Nell made good use of her filthy tongue. She reputedly called “Come here you little bastard” to her son in front of a horrified King. As Nell said, “what should she call him, was not bastard true?” A Dukedom followed very quickly.
  4. Nell’s greatest rival was the Duchess of Portsmouth, the Catholic Louise de Keroualle
    When Nell was insulted by a crowd, she leant out of her carriage and cried “Pray good people be civil, I am the Protestant whore”
  5. She almost ended up in the Debtor’s Prison
    Following King Charles’s death in 1685, Nell appealed to King James who settled her immediate debts and provided her a pension of £1500 a year
Nell Gwynn: Used her considerable wit and charms to change British Theatre forever.
Nell Gwynn: Used her considerable wit and charms to change British Theatre forever.

Following a critically acclaimed and sell-out limited season of 11 performances at Shakespeare’s Globe, don’t miss this opportunity to see Nell Gwynn in the West End.

Until 30th Apr 2016
Apollo Theatre, Shaftesbury Avenue

‘A delight, silly and serious… full of crowd pleasers, lilting music and sumptuous costumes… there is even a dog.’

★★★★

The Times

‘Falls between Restoration comedy, My Fair Lady, Carry On films and Blackadder.’

★★★★