Our verdict on the blockbuster show at Dubai World Trade Centre
Last weekend saw Peter Pan, Wendy and all other eternally young literary figures stemming from JM Barrie’s Never Never Land give their final Dubai swansong, showcasing their acrobatic and magical wares to a busy crowd at the DWTC, comprised of children, parents... and, in truth, a fair few local journalists.
Put on by locally based Yak Events, the performance was a multifarious mix of singing, dancing and acrobatics, big on the magic and fairy dust for the nippers, but equally as dedicated to an eminently strong technical approach.
Essentially a modern musical re-incarnation JM Barrie’s historically adored children’s classic, Peter Pan: the Never Ending Story is chock-a-block with high-wires, pulleys, an impressively amorphous stage and even an ace five-man crocodile. And – at the risk of dispelling any magical vibes to our younger (or highly imaginative) reading demographic – a high powered wind turbine enabling the show's eponymous protagonist to 'actually fly' (or at least give the impression of) at certain points in the performance. While numerous references to ‘believing in fairies’ and slightly cringing renditions of Robbie Williams' 'Angels' were a tad sickly for us jaded journos, harmonious versions of Seal's ‘Kiss from a Rose’ and ‘Forever Young’ (not to mention a rather eclectic but top notch version of ‘Nessun Dorma’ from Cap'n Hook) had a fair few older audience members swaying in their seats.
Though the title ‘Never Ending Story’ initially provoked mild concerns as to the length of the production we were subjecting ourselves too, the show keeps things snappy and moving, and with prudent consideration for its largely young audience and restless writers, condenses what could have been a lengthy tale into a fun 120 minutes, with a twenty minute interval for the kids to get their popcorn fix, naturally.
All in all, judging by the jubilant seven and eight-year-olds at the closing curtain, the performance seemingly provided just the right hook (as it were) for the congregated youngsters, and – if we’re being honest – did a bit of a number on us here at Time Out too.