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Neverland takes Peter Pan to ice in Nicosia March 23, 2008

Posted by grhomeboy in Arts Events Cyprus, Stage & Theater.
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The classic tale of Peter Pan gets its skates on next week for three performances in Nicosia, Cyprus.

Full of pirates and fairies, it’s a place where kids love to visit and adults love to remember. After all, there can’t be many grown ups out there who haven’t spent at least some of their childhood in this dreamy place. Now is the time to embrace the world of wild imagination as you and the kids join the mischievous Peter Pan, his hot tempered pixie pal, Tinkerbell, and the Darling children as they soar away to the mysterious Neverland, where childhood lasts forever.

But don’t think of theatre curtains drawing open and actors taking centre stage, this Neverland gang will be easing off the chill factor as they prance around on ice in a show at the Eleftheria Basketball Stadium in a week’s time.

A basketball stadium in the capital may not quite be what the Scottish JM Barrie had in mind when he thought up the tale, but then again, it’s all about forgetting reality as we’re taken to a world where boys fly and magically refuse to grow up. As the playful Peter arrives to blow fairy dust over Cypriot audiences you can expect a show featuring world class and Olympic champion skaters from the Russian Ice Stars in a production by the UK’s Wild Rose Company and John Yiannakis. “Having toured around the UK for the past two years, our performances are fully booked around the country until next summer,” says Yiannakis. “Because of the high standard of skating, the story may be for children but it’s also quite a visual experience for adults.”

It’s all things normal when the story starts off as we are introduced to the bedtime rituals of the Darling children living a proper middle class life in Edwardian London. Things take an unexpected turn when Peter Pan sneaks into the room one night to listen in on their bedtime stories. Convincing them to fly away with him out of the window and into the depths of Neverland, all sorts of adventures begin in the mysterious place. There are the mean pirates led by Captain Hook, while a whole bunch of Indians, mermaids and crocodiles transport the audience into a world of make believe. Having been so relentlessly hashed and re-hashed over the years, we often forget just how witty and delightfully odd the story is.

The character of Peter Pan first appeared in 1902 in a section of a novel for adults called The Little White Bird. It was so successful that Barrie reprinted it as a full story for children, first performed as a stage play 1904. Little did he know that it would become such a worldwide theatre success, a Walt Disney smash hit in 1953, adapted into the 1991 film Hook, and even providing the inspiration for the more recent Finding Neverland starring Johnny Depp.

All this action is under the direction of Italian Guiseppe Arena, a former member and teacher of La Scala Ballet Company in Milan, often regarded today as one of the most innovative ice choreographers throughout the world. In 2004 Giuseppe was rewarded by the Italian government for his contributions to dance and was bestowed with the Italian equivalent of knighthood and the title of ‘Cavaliere’. In 2006 he was responsible for the choreography of the opening ceremony of Turin’s 2006 Winter Olympic Games. The music of the show has been composed by Maestro Silvio Amato. Who can say no to a little make believe brought to life by real talent?

Peter Pan on Ice > The magical classic children’s tale brought to life by the Russian Ice Stars. March 30 and 31. Eleftheria Basketball Stadium, Makedonitissa, Nicosia. €25 adults/€12 children. March 30, 8pm. March 31, 5pm and 8pm. For information call 22 818212.

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