SANTA Maria College’s stunning view of the Swan River will be relegated to role of backdrop for the Attadale school’s “very ambitious” production, starting Sunday night.
The river will take its place in the background thanks to a grand new set piece for Wendy and Peter Pan.
Commissioned by the Royal Shakespeare Company, Ella Hickson’s modern interpretation of J.M. Barrie’s much-loved story of Peter Pan puts Wendy centre stage.
“This time last year I was thinking about doing a Peter Pan-style show outside,” director Amanda Huxtable said.
“Then I spent time trying to find the correct script, something that really spoke to us, because I found the classic Peter Pan was just a little bit too classic.
“I wanted something a little bit edgier, a little bit more raw, and with a bit more character in it.
“Then we found Wendy and Peter Pan.”
Santa Maria’s head of dance and drama said it took some time to secure the rights to the adaptation “because it hasn’t been performed anywhere outside of the UK yet”.
It means the school’s opening night this Sunday will double as an Australian premiere.
“What I love about this script is that it challenges the traditional role of women and that classic story of Peter Pan taking on Hook,” Ms Huxtable said.
“While Peter is still obviously a big focus, Wendy’s at the centre of this story and Wendy ends up taking control.
“She doesn’t have to rely on (Peter Pan), which means she’s a great role model for us in an all-girls school and in a contemporary age to empower young women to take on the world.”
At the heart of the visuals is the ship – 18m-long from bow to stern – which the cast of 50 will use to tell the story.
Ms Huxtable said “faith, trust and a whole lot of pixie dust” would ensure a great run.
“It is very ambitious. I don’t like to sit still,” she said.
“I’m very excited about the spectacle that we are going to create.”
Year 11 student Emma Robinson will play Wendy.
She said she was drawn to the character because the role was not a passive one.
“She can really show girl power and not just be saved by all the guys,” the Bibra Lake resident said.
“She just becomes more of a three dimensional character and has a bit more of a background and becomes a bit more interesting.”
Patrick Thomas, the school’s digital technologies and media teacher, will play Hook.
He was excited to perform a classic against a visually stunning backdrop.
“I think it’s great for the community too,” he said.
“To see these kids taking their talent seriously and being given such an amazing opportunity to showcase that to the community is pretty cool.
“And in an Australian premiere; that’s huge.”
For tickets, visit: https://www.trybooking.com/book/event?eid=357358&.