TheSmartLocal – Singapore’s Leading Travel and Lifestyle Portal

Skip to content

A Review of Peter Pan at RWS – The Never Ending Story

Not Just Another Peter Pan Adaptation


b2ap3_thumbnail_Peter-Pan-Cover-Copy.jpgMany of us grew to love Peter Pan and his adventures from the iconic animated film produced by Walt Disney in 1953. However, few know the history of the titular character dates back to when J.M. Barrie wrote the play “Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn’t Grow Up” in 1904. Since then, there have been many other adaptations but nothing quite like this musical.

Conceptualised by Geert Allaert and his team from Music Hall Production, Peter Pan: The Never Ending Story makes its Asian premiere at Resorts World Sentosa after a successful run in Europe. It takes this well-known classic into the modern realm by re-imagining the adventures of Peter Pan and his friends through chart-topping pop songs and slick choreography.

In this production, Tinkerbell is the narrator and she takes us through Peter Pan’s journey, from meeting Wendy, John and Michael Darling in London, to bringing them to Neverland and finally, to the epic sword fight against Captain Hook.


My Thoughts


b2ap3_thumbnail_Peter-Pan--Darling-Family---Photographer-Luk-Montsaert--12.jpgSource: Luk Monsaert for Resorts World Sentosa

I was impressed by the incredible scale of the production from the moment the show started. With acrobatic stunts, stunning pyrotechnics and that little bit of “fairy dust”, I was “hooked” into re-discovering all the things I already loved about Peter Pan. I loved that the set was made up of movable giant books and visual effects that added a whimsical touch to the story-telling.

This musical wouldn’t be anything without the music – literally. Peter Pan: The Never Ending Story has no dialogue and as such, the songs had to tell us the story. With his experience on films such as Moulin Rouge and The Great Gatsby, the Musical Director, Matt Dunkley did a brilliant job in re-working popular songs for the musical. b2ap3_thumbnail_Leslie-Artamonow-325.jpgSource: Leslie Artamonow for Resorts World Sentosa

Never in my life would I have imagined Peter Pan singing “Angel” by Robbie Williams – but it worked. Other songs like “You Raise Me Up” by Josh Groban and “One Day I’ll Fly Away” by Nicole Kidman will get you singing along in no time, as I found myself mouthing the words to a lot of the songs.


However, it is also in the lack of dialogues that I found problematic. With the little narration that was provided by a mostly unseen Tinkerbell, I was often left a little confused at what was happening in each scene. I had to piece a lot of the plot points together and if I didn’t already know the story of Peter Pan, I might have been left a little stranded. It was at this point that I realised how this musical was more suited for younger audiences who would be more fascinated by the visual elements of the production. b2ap3_thumbnail_Peter-Pan--Hook---Photographer-Luk-Montsaert-13.jpgSource: Luk Monsaert for Resorts World Sentosa

What made up for it though, was the incomparable performances of the actors. Without dialogues, they relied solely on their physicality to portray their characters. With a mix of humourous slapstick comedy from John (Gerardo Tetilla) and Michael Darling (Davide Romeo) to a campy, opera-singing Captain Hook (Wim Van Den Driesche), everybody left the theatre laughing at their antics.b2ap3_thumbnail_Leslie-Artamonow-385.jpgSource: Leslie Artamonow for Resorts World Sentosa

On the opposite end of the spectrum, the chemistry between real-life husband and wife, Sandor Stürbl and Lilly-Jane Young, who play Peter Pan and Wendy Darling respectively, is palpable. When they duet on songs like “Forever Young” and “Kiss From A Rose”, something magical happens – you can feel how much they mean to each other, both on and off the stage. 

After all, Stürbl proposed to Young on stage after a performance of this very musical in Glasgow, so you know that this musical is special to them. I definitely felt it and don’t tell anyone this, but I teared up a little every time they sang together.




b2ap3_thumbnail_Peter-Pan-stage-general---Photographer-Luk-Monsaert-233.jpgSource: Luk Monsaert for Resorts World Sentosa

While it can be a little draggy at times, especially with the elaborate and sometimes repetitive dance sequences used as transitions from scene to scene, this Cirque du Soleil-esque take on a classic does enough to keep the story fresh for audiences. Regardless, there is an impeccable polish to the production that everyone can appreciate.

Ultimately, it’s a wholesome production for the family in which kids will enjoy all the high-flying action and adults will feel nostalgic when they hear the songs. This makes Peter Pan: The Never Ending Story perfect for the young and the young at heart.

Even though the story is far from new, it still manages to keep audiences on the edge of their seats as they uncover the nefarious schemes of Hook and capture their hearts as they discover the blossoming love story between Peter Pan and Wendy Darling. At the end of it all, this 20-something year old adult sure enjoyed being a kid again. Especially when Wendy flew above my head and waved at me.

Rating: 7.5/10

Peter Pan: The Never Ending Story in theatres until 20 January 2015 at Resorts World Theatre, Resorts World Sentosa. You can get your tickets here.

This post was brought to you by Resorts World Sentosa.