Peter Pan at Chester’s Storyhouse Theatre

Retelling the classic fantasy adventure story of Peter Pan by JM Barrie, The Storyhouse at Chester successfully updated the original play, that has been deliberately skewed towards a 21st century family audience.

The story follows the journey to Neverland for a high-flying adventure. The forever-young Peter Pan sailed through the skies to bring Wendy and the Darling children to the Lost Children’s enchanted island where the fearsome Captain Hook rules over the high seas.

The set frees up the thrust stage to enable extraordinary amounts of flying, with Wired Aerial Theatre showing off its artistry from the outset. An onstage band added subtle music while never overwhelming the storytelling, and puppetry, though sparingly used, adds a touch of magic.

Sound Design and dBS Solutions Director Chris Bogg designed a complex soundscape to accompany the performance-based around a 6.1 surround system on each level. The venues d&b Y series speaker system had to be carefully deployed around the aerial artists who were also wearing radio mic systems and in some cases in-ear monitors.

The system’s processing was achieved using the venues new DS100 providing all of the matrix.  Associate Sound Designer Findly Claydon programmed much of the shows sound effects in the Qlab system leaving Chris to work on the sound of the shows cast and band throughout the process.  Choosing to use the Yamaha QL5 and Sennheiser radio mics for the performance dBS Solutions supplied additional items to integrate the qlab system, mics and Sennheiser systems to the already well-stocked in house sound department.

A big thanks go to all at Storyhouse for their hard work and dedication through what was a really challenging tech process. Flying performers and flying children in a thrust environment was always going to make for a busy technical process. The creative set design by April Dalton included trap doors too so every element of the show was carefully technically rehearsed until it was just right.  I think those who visited the show would agree it was all worth while.

You can find a review of this magical production here.