Culture Theatre

REVIEW: “Second Star to the Right” at the Wales Millennium Centre

by Rachel Nurse

★★★★★

The outstanding production of the Second Star to the Right was magical and uplifting. The sets made by the production team and acting from all the cast really made the audience engross into the fantasy action retake of Peter Pan. Jon Dafydd-Kidd, Director, quoted that, “Odyssey and Neverland have many similarities. They are a place of joy, limitless imagination and celebrate play.” The play is a celebration of the hope that we will continue to create dreamers and creators, children and young adults who can shape the world we live in.

Peter Pan decided to leave Neverland and grow up, leaving the lost boy more lost than they were before. The children on earth began to stop believing in Neverland, resulting in Neverland becoming darker and darker. Alice, Arthur and Joe were the only hope for the island.

The plot was cleverly written to include all the original elements of Neverland while making the production modernised. Alice, Arthur and Joe were grown-ups who stopped going to Neverland in their imagination so the fairy brought them to Neverland to become heroes, exactly like their partners Wendy, John and Michael. Being back the memories of Peter Pan was beautifully done, yet even if you haven’t had seen Peter Pan it wouldn’t have mattered as the play was independent in its own right.

The actor which made me the most entertained and laugh was The Boss, Amalia Bantell, her acting skills were amazing and she made me invest in the theme of pirates and good vs evil. The ‘Walk the plank’, the scene was humorous amongst all the characters on stage, yet managed to become heart-warming with Alice finally believing that Neverland is real. The three core characters had to come together to save Neverland and thank goodness, they did!

The audience were rooting for Neverland to survive the terrible quickening darkness and for the fairies not to die out. Everybody in the audience enjoyed the show. The mixture of emotions of the story and relationships between the characters made imagination and reality blurred. The actors certainly gave the play justice and I would love to see any performance from the Hijink Odyssey team anytime soon.

Neverland has always been a place to visit to fulfil your creative power. It’s a unique place to explore and I feel that I’ve experienced Neverland to its fullest. My favourite concept of the performance was if you imagine something hard enough, it will happen and will appear in your reality. This is a life lesson for children and adults to consider. Hope is always there in the darkness.

Also, there is the exhibition in the foyer of the Wales Millennium Centre which absorbed my imaginativeness. The work was developed during art workshops by University South Wales Creative and Therapeutic Arts students in Woodlands High School, Ysgol Y Deri and the Marion Centre; Bishop of Llandaff. Parts of the exhibition were enforced into the projections of the show as well.

Congratulations to the cast and creative production team for an astonishing show. Llinos Mai for writing such a breathtaking show. Lastly, thank you for taking myself and the audience to Neverland, a place of playing, hope and adventure.

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