Promo: Derby Theatre. Two Christmas shows – Peter Pan, The Gingerbread Man.

Rehearsals are now in full swing for Derby Theatre’s big, family-friendly, festive production for 2017/18, a fabulous and fantastical new adaptation of Peter Pan, performed by a merry band of actor-musicians, on from Saturday 2 December until Saturday 6 January.

Olivier award-winning playwright Mike Kenny gives J.M. Barrie’s original much-loved classic tale a thrilling new twist in a must-see new production for all the family from Derby Theatre, directed by Sarah Brigham.

This Christmas, join Peter Pan, the free spirited child who never grows up. Journey with Peter and the Darling children, as they soar through the night sky, to embark on a spellbinding adventure to the magical and mystical island of Neverland. Peter introduces the children to a never-ending childhood and a new world of wonder with the Lost Boys, fairies, mermaids, the mischievous Tinker Bell and the fearful Captain Hook…and wait a minute, what’s that ticking noise?

As with previous Derby Theatre Christmas productions, a talented team of actor-musicians create a charming and captivating tale for all, with original music, stunning set designs and vibrant costumes. Peter Pan is Derby Theatre’s big festive production for all ages – an exhilarating and enchanting production, sure to bring out the child in all of us.

Playing the title character will be Jack Brett. New to Derby Theatre audiences, Jack’s previous credits include Peter Pan in Underneath a Magical Moon (York Theatre Royal and UK tour); Alfie Strange: Trained Time Travellers Only (New Wolsey Theatre) and Cymbeline (Guildford Shakespeare Company).

Joining Jack, and also new to Derby audiences, will be: Sally Ann Staunton as Wendy (A Journey with Maude for York Theatre Royal, The Gruffalo’s Child for Tall Stories, Rugby Songs for Slung Low and The Boy Who Cried Wolf for Tutti Frutti and York Theatre Royal); Ru Hamilton as Michael Darling and other characters (Treasure Island for Birmingham Rep and Farm Boy for Mercury Theatre, Colchester) and Julian Capolei as John Darling and other characters (UK tour of Tommy with Ramps on the Moon, Sinbad the Sailor for Theatre Royal Stratford East plus Return to the Forbidden Planet and Cabaret for Royal Conservatoire of Scotland).

Returning to the Theatre, and familiar faces to Derby audiences, will be: Neal Craig as Captain Hook (Solace of the Road for Derby Theatre, Othello for English Theatre Hamburg, Lost Lending Library for Punchdrunk and The Snow Queen for Theatre by the Lake); Esme Sears as Tinkerbell (who played the title role in Cinderella, and also appeared in A Christmas Carol for Derby Theatre, Silver Darling for Derby LIVE and in Hairspray for the Regent Theatre, Stoke); Jack Quarton as Smee and other characters (who played the White Rabbit in last year’s production of Alice in Wonderland at Derby Theatre, Aladdin for the Key Theatre in Peterborough and An August Bank Holiday Lark for Northern Broadsides) and Elizabeth Eves as Mrs Darling and other characters (who played the Duchess in Alice in Wonderland at Derby Theatre last year, Hare and Tortoise and The Kite Runner for Nottingham Playhouse and A Christmas Carol for Lincoln Theatre Royal).

Neal Craig, Esme Sears, Jack Quarton and Elizabeth Eves all hail from the East Midlands region.

Joining the adult cast will be 18 talented young actors from the region including: Jessica Allison, Imogen Uphill and Iris Harwood from Belper; Ariana Bothchway from Sinfin, Jaiya Dhillon, Hannah Mukhtar and Harry Tallis from Derby City Centre; Roberto Storey from Sawdlincote, Joel Fox White from Duffield, T’yanna Asafu-Adjei and Keisha Ghai from Littleover, Olivia Thomas and Maisie Grace Denney from Breaston, Bailey West from Chellaston, Alfie Williams from Mickleover, Freya Youngman from Burton on Trent, Joseph Smyth from Osmaston and Primrose Cole from Willington.

Peter Pan is presented by arrangement with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity and Samuel French Ltd.

Derby Theatre is also delighted to present The Gingerbread Man, a Derby Theatre and Hiccup Theatre Production, this festive season, a delicious adventure for ages 3+ and their families, on from Tuesday 5 until Sunday 31 December.

“Run, run, as fast as you can, you can’t catch me, I’m the Gingerbread Man!”

Chase after our cheeky gingerbread hero as he sets off on the biggest adventure of his life! Out of the kitchen, through the town, across the fields and all the way to the river… now if he could just avoid that sly old fox!

Hiccup Theatre and Derby Theatre cook up a brand new version of this classic tale adding delicious original live music, tasty story-telling and dollops of fun.

The cast for The Gingerbread Man includes: John Holt Roberts (Kes and Alice in Wonderland for Derby Theatre); Paula James (Alice in Wonderland for Derby Theatre and Julius Caesar for Guildford Shakespeare Company) and Ivan Stott (composer for, and actor in, the show).

Sarah Brigham (Artistic Director and Director of Peter Pan and The Gingerbread Man) said: “I’m thrilled to direct and present J.M. Barrie’s classic story, Peter Pan in our main house this Christmas, a fantastic adaptation by Olivier award-winning writer Mike Kenny. Peter Pan is a favourite with all ages and a much-loved tale full of magic and a host of mystical and curious characters, and our version will be a fun and stylish interpretation for audiences aged 5+. Our Peter will be fun, feisty, incredibly inquisitive and ready to soar and explore the mysterious Neverland with a few quirky characters and creatures in tow, all who sing and play live instruments. The cast we have assembled is a truly fantastic one, some familiar faces to Derby Theatre and some new ones too; and, once again, I am looking forward immensely to a talented young company of local young actors joining the professional cast of adult actors.

The Gingerbread Man, our festive offer for ages 3+ and their families presented in association with Hiccup Theatre in our Studio this Christmas, has been an absolute blast and joy to rehearse, and prepare for touring, over the summer with our brilliant cast of three (and some puppet friends), and I am confident that the show will be a funny and joyous Christmas treat for our younger theatregoers this festive season…take a look at our teaser trailer to see if it tickles your taste buds.

Christmas is the time we see most people through our doors at Derby Theatre, and we always look forward to welcoming audiences of all ages and wishing them a truly joyful and festive time with us here at the theatre.”

Tickets for Peter Pan range from £12 to £28, with Family Tickets, concession and group rates available, and tickets for The Gingerbread Man are £11 and £9.50 for concessions, also with Family Tickets available. For more information and to book tickets for one, or both, shows call the Box Office on 01332 593939 or visit http://www.derbytheatre.co.uk

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