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Peter Pan in Dubai interview

Actor on proposing to real-life Wendy live onstage

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© ITP Images

The Dutch actor, 28, opens up to Peter Feely about his recent on-stage proposal and what it’s like playing the part of Peter Pan – the boy who never grew up.

How has your trip to Dubai been?
Today we paid a visit to the Dubai Autism Centre and sat with disabled children, which was really nice.

You proposed on stage in Glasgow to the lady who plays Wendy. Were you nervous at all?
Well the thing is, I wouldn’t have proposed at all if I had any doubts. I already expected her to say yes but I was more nervous about keeping it a secret beforehand. I just got on with the show but when
the moment came, at the end, I was a bit nervous.

And did you tell anyone what you had planned?
Nobody, because I really wanted to keep it a secret – you tell it to one guy and then he tells it to another guy and before you know it, everybody knows. Of course, somebody from production knew and the stage manager knew.

What was the audition process for the part of Peter Pan like?
There was a new production and I heard that there were auditions, that it was for a Belgian company and that it was for an arena spectacular. I never knew that such a thing [Peter Pan] existed so
I was really looking forward to knowing what it was [about].

Do you have a favourite moment in the show?
Personally, I really like the scene [with the song] ‘Angels’, the cover of Robbie Williams’ song. It’s a track that’s covered a lot but I really love how I can make my own version. It’s the moment where Peter Pan thinks he’s going to die – which has the famous line: ‘Death would be an awfully big adventure.’

What’s the toughest part of the performance?
The flying. We use different ways of flying – so we have 2D flying, 3D flying in harnesses and the wind turbine. The different ways of flying and the combination of different types of stamina that you need to play Peter Pan is tough. I definitely have to be in shape because, with the character, it has to look really easy. If you’re out of breath singing a song or you’re not light-footed – that’s not Peter Pan.

Do you share any personality traits with your character?
Peter Pan is the boy who doesn’t want to grow up and I think that every man has a little bit of the naughty side of Peter Pan within themselves. And of course, I also have that. I always want adventure – I was always the boy who left the playground last and I see the stage like a playground.

Peter Pan can fly – if you could have a superpower what would it be?
I think flying is quite cool actually. I wouldn’t go for immortality or something that’s a little bit easy. I wouldn’t want to be invisible – I think I’ll stick with the flying.
Peter Pan: The Never Ending Story runs until March 13 at Dubai World Trade Centre. From Dhs195. www.yakevents.com.

By Peter Feely
Time Out Dubai,

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