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Ballarat National Theatre

production peter panSecond star to the right and straight on ‘til morning. Come away with us on a journey to the Neverland.

Following the success of their Pride and Prejudice podcast, Ballarat National Theatre is proud to announce their third online production—a dramatised audiobook adaptation of James M. Barrie’s childhood classic, Peter Pan.

Each episode will feature the voices of both local and interstate actors transporting you to a magical world of mermaids, pirates, fairies and marvellous adventures that the whole family can enjoy.

podcast varied

https://peterpanpodcast.buzzsprout.com/

Synopsis

Peter Pan, the mischievous boy who refuses to grow up, lands in the Darlings’ proper middle-class home to look for his shadow. He befriends Wendy, John and Michael and teaches them to fly—with a little help from fairy dust. Pan and Tinker Bell whisk the children off to the Neverland where they encounter the Lost Boys, the Neverlanders and the dastardly Captain Hook and his crew.

Podcast Theme

Love the Pan Podcast theme music - Read More

About the Novel

James Matthew Barrie was born on 9 May 1860 in Scotland. When he was six years old, his older brother, David, died in an ice-skating accident. David remained forever in their mother’s eyes as the boy who would never grow up—this later served as inspiration for Peter Pan. After David’s death, Barrie tried to take over the role of favourite in their mother’s life. This relationship, whilst rumoured to be quite fractured, certainly helped foster Barrie’s interest in women’s identities—how we understand women’s roles like mother, wife, sister, leader. We can see these questions at work in his portrayal of female characters like Mrs Darling, Wendy, Tiger Lily and Tinker Bell.

While living in London, Barrie befriended the Llewelyn Davies family during his frequent walks in Kensington Gardens. The five boys (George, John, Peter, Michael, and Nicholas) became the inspiration for the character Peter Pan and several of the characters within Barrie’s later works are named after the boys. When the Davies boys’ father passed away, Barrie financially supported the family and when their mother, Sylvia, died a few years later, he became co-guardian. Barrie died on 19 June 1937. Peter Pan remains his most famous work.

About the Adaptation

The story of Peter Pan has long captured the imagination of children around the world. At its core, it's a story of childhood innocence and adventure. Within the writing itself however, there is a great deal to be unpacked. Exploring some of the darker themes within Barrie’s iconic tale has provided us with the opportunity to examine different thematic elements with our adult cast, whilst still engaging with the more light-hearted elements with our child cast. This decision and process was as rewarding for our cast as it was for us, and we hope that you enjoy both the light and the dark that our production has to offer. Similarly, careful consideration has been applied to all elements of sound design and music in our production—the latter of which includes some original compositions by our incredibly talented cast.

While our adaptation remains faithful to Barrie’s original work and ideas, changes have been made. Like many classic texts, the story does contain elements which are controversial and do not reflect the views and beliefs of modern audiences; in particular the depiction of racist stereotypes within the text. These depictions, though more commonplace at the time of the story’s creation, were as wrong then as they are today. It was never our intention to ignore these issues, to do so might suggest these prejudices are in any way acceptable, and as such, there are modifications to the original text. Throughout this adaptation, our cast and creative team have been actively involved in discussing, examining and addressing the prejudices within the text to help ensure that this dramatisation presents a more tolerant, inclusive retelling of Peter Pan.

Here, the Neverlanders are the people indigenous to the Neverland. Their connection to the story is deeply rooted in the significance that they have to the land itself and the characters are named after trees. This was instrumental to informing our decision around the native tribe within the original story. The Neverlander language consists of a mostly English vocabulary, interspersed with Latin phrases. We have worked closely with our actors to establish an ancient language/accent featuring root sounds closely resembling those found in Latin.

Another aspect of our adaptation was to give voice to a strong young woman already represented in the text: Tiger Lily. A prominent feature in all versions of Peter Pan, Tiger Lily represents strength and grace but did not originally have much dialogue at all. In consultation with our cast, the production team gave the character greater scope to show her to be the powerful, dynamic character that she is. In addition, her tribe members were also expanded to provide insight into the Neverlanders perspectives and the origins we collaboratively devised. While our retelling differs from Barrie’s, we hope to present a more representative and empathic portrayal of all characters but especially Tiger Lily’s tribe, the Neverlanders.

Directors

peter pan elizabeth bradford

 

Elizabeth Bradford

Elizabeth studied acting, writing and editing at Federation University Australia. During her studies, she was involved in several leadership ventures—most notably, she worked as the Publication Manager for the university’s student magazine. She is currently studying psychology at Deakin University with a focus on trauma, as well as infant and toddler mental health.

In 2020, Elizabeth worked as the Production Manager for Ballarat National Theatre’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ podcast and as the Production Manager and a Sound Editor for Someone New Theatre Company’s ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ podcast. ‘Peter Pan’ is her directorial debut.

 
peter pan 10 olivia french

 

Olivia French

Olivia has always loved pursuing creative endeavours. Whilst living in Tasmania, her stage credits include feature ensemble in 'Phantom of the Opera' (Encore Theatre Tasmania) and Annelle in 'Steel Magnolias' (Launceston Players). Since moving to Victoria, her Ballarat National Theatre productions include Catherine in 'The Best Man', Sybil in 'Daisy Pulls It Off', Harriet in 'Nobody's Perfect', Don John and featuring roles in ‘Act Like a Girl’, and as the witty Elizabeth Bennet in the 2018 production of 'Pride and Prejudice', directed by Alexandra Meerbach.

In March 2020, Olivia featured in Ballarat Lyric Theatre’s production of ‘Les Misérables’—mere days before the first lockdown. Recently she reprised the role of the indomitable Lizzy Bennet when she co-created, assistant directed and narrated BNT’s first online production, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ podcast. In addition to teaching full time and community theatre, Olivia moonlights as a member of the performance team at Kryal Castle—acting in numerous pantomimes, arena shows and murder mysterys. Most recently, Olivia featured in Someone New Theatre Company’s ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ podcast and is excited to bring another classic tale to life with the Pan team.

 

peter pan marli vander bijl

 

Marli van der Bijl

Marli has worked as a singer and actor for the past decade and holds a Master's Degree in Drama and Theatre Arts. She has been involved in stage, screen, music and audio productions across four countries.

Since moving to Melbourne in 2020, Marli has been involved in two audiobook adaptations: Ballarat National Theatre’s ‘Pride and Prejudice’ as Miss Caroline Bingley and Someone New Theatre Company’s ‘The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes’ as the Production Assistant, also working on Sound Editing and Design, social media and voice announcements. She also voiced Death in SNTC’s radio-play, ‘Death and I’. Marli’s most recent theatre performances include ‘The Metropolis Monologues’, ‘City Park Plays’ and ‘The Best, The Fairest, The First’ with Melbourne Writers’ Theatre.

More career highlights include her TV debut as Maryke in the South African Soap, '7de Laan', being Company Manager for 'Spijt de Musical' in the Netherlands, singing in the trio act, 'VIVA LAS DIVAS', in Greece and performing as Yum-Yum in ‘The Mikado’, Carmen Diaz in ‘Fame’, Penny Pingleton in ‘Hairspray’, Ophelia in ‘Hamlet’ and principal roles in two Afrikaans classics, ‘Christine’ and ‘Putsonderwater’, as well as the physical theatre/performance art production, ‘ERA’. For her portrayal of Cosette in ‘Les Misérables’ in 2019, Marli received a Finley Award for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical in Perth. She also enjoys LEGO Stop Motion and art, which she combined during lockdown to create a LEGO Stop motion tribute to Vincent van Gogh, titled ‘Le Gogh’, which featured on the Van Gogh Museum’s social media channels.

 

Production Team

  • Directors — Elizabeth Bradford, Olivia French and Marli van der Bijl
  • Sound Editors — Elizabeth Bradford, Jacob Thompson and Marli van der Bijl
  • Production Manager — Tyrone Cross
  • Production Assistants — Angela Olwyn and Tess Theodore
  • Social Media Managers — Olivia French and Amanda Mill
  • Writers — Elizabeth Bradford, Olivia French, Angela Olwyn and Marli van der Bijl

 

Cast

Trillian Sharples

Trillian Sharples

Peter Pan
Joseph Appleton

Joseph Appleton

John Darling
Emily Archer

Emily Archer

Pockets
Anna Bilbrough

Anna Bilbrough

Mrs Darling
James Bradford

James Bradford

Michael's Kite
Matthew Bradford

Matthew Bradford

Narrator
Paul Canlan

Paul Canlan

Cecco & Skylights
Alana Denham

Alana Denham

Wendy Darling
Jack Emond

Jack Emond

Chameleon and Baobab the Great
Anna Faye

Anna Faye

Tinker Bell
Olivia French

Olivia French

Nana
Yuki French

Yuki French

Nana
Nigel Goodwin

Nigel Goodwin

Noodler and Quercus
Evie Ifandoudas

Evie Ifandoudas

Tootles
Irini Ifandoudas

Irini Ifandoudas

Twin 2
Katerina Ifandoudas

Katerina Ifandoudas

Twin 1
Barry Kay

Barry Kay

Mr Darling and Captain James Hook
Eloise Keppler

Eloise Keppler

Nibs
Daniel Lamech

Daniel Lamech

Jukes and Fraxinus
Annie Laurenson

Annie Laurenson

Mr Smee
Megan Lilley

Megan Lilley

Slightly
Jono Lukins

Jono Lukins

Mullins and Teynte
Fred Preston

Fred Preston

Cookson, Scourie and Foggerty
Conagh Punch

Conagh Punch

Gentleman Starkey
Felix Steinwandel

Felix Steinwandel

Michael Darling
Casey Withoos

Casey Withoos

Liza and Never Bird
Kira Yang

Kira Yang

Tiger Lily
Solveig Yen

Solveig Yen

Curly

 

Podcast Theme Song

The Pan Podcast Team had been looking for a song that sounded like Peter Pan, but after finding many songs that almost just worked, they were at their wits end. They didn’t want to use music that had been used elsewhere in the digital universe and were looking for music that captured the adventure, but also had darker themes. Some instruments specifically stood out, like the pan flute to signify Peter Pan and the piano - Mrs Darling plays Home Sweet Home on the piano in the final chapters of the novel.

About a week out from the podcast’s release, one of the Pan Team started thinking about composers they knew and remembered Stamatis Seraphim who they had met back in 2017. Through social media they found that Stamatis later went on to pursue his studies in London and had become a budding composer. They found his Bandcamp profile and listened to some of the music he had composed, finding the composition Nefeli.

The Team were drawn to the adventurous violins; they could hear the pirates, the piano in the nursery, wind instruments and some magical bells. It had many different movements which could be used at different points in the audiobook as the intrigue unfolds. Nefeli means clouds, so it was destiny!

Here's what Stamatis had to say about the composition and his thought process behind it:
“Nefeli is dedicated to my other half and named after her. I wanted to reflect a different side of her than what a typical love theme would do. Instead of sweeping strings and romance, I wanted to bring out what I see when I look at her. She's such an intelligent person and you can see the thoughts going in and out of her head behind her eyes, hence the rhythmical nature of the piece. There are some romantic phrases present but always with the rhythmical motif behind them. There's inspiration from the music of The Queen's Gambit by Carlos Rafael Rivera, and I thought using something as finessed and diverse as the orchestra along with a piano, which is my main instrument, was the best way to represent that side of Nefeli."

Visit Stamatis Seraphim’s website to find out more about the composer https://stamsera.com/