Near Treen, (actually it’s near nowhere) right down at the bottom of Cornwall. We saw Peter Pan in August 2005 by the Shattered Windscreen Company.
First thing’s first – if you’re planning to watch a performance at the Mincack Theatre, you should know a few things first. The seats are incredibly uncomfortable – you are literally sitting on bits of rock, probably with someone’s knees digging in your back, and you’d be very lucky to get any back support. So, it is not a place to go if you get uncomfortable quickly in a comfy cinema seat. You can hire cushions, but there’s nothing stopping you from taking your own.
Also, no matter how hot and how sunny it is when you park your car; it will be freezing cold and pitch black when the performance finishes; so take a coat and a torch with you.
No matter how early you pre-book your tickets, the best seats go to those who get there first. We got there at 6:30 and the queue was already about 100 people long. The play was due to start at 8:30. So get there early!!!
You should know that if you phone dead on 9:30am on the day of the performance, then you should be able to get on the list for people claiming returned tickets. Peter Pan had sold out several weeks in advance, but we really wanted to go – especially as I’ve been reading my kids the original story. So we had to be there at 6:30 and were lucky enough to get returns from another family of four. There were loads of other people who were waiting hopefully though – so ask on the phone how far down you are in the list. Unless you’re in the area anyway, it may not be worth risking it.
Another thing to know: On the website it looks like the upper terraces look miles away from the stage and wouldn’t be worth taking. But we were up there – and it’s true, you are looking down on the performance rather than at it. But it’s not as bad as it looks on the seating plan and I thought it was fine. There was a good quality sound system, so we could hear everything well and I think it was actually a good place to be. Not to mention the fact that it’s a lot cheaper up there – for a family of four it was less than £30 and I thought that was reasonable.
Now – onto the review of the play itself: It was brilliant; I loved it! The Shattered Windscreen Company had about 30 actors, so there was not a shortage of Indians or Pirates, though they were sometimes both! The script was very faithful to the original text by J M Barrie from 100 years ago which I loved. There were no silly pantomime bits, though there was a funny bit that was copied from Pirates of the Carribean..
The acting was great. There was some lovely singing and music to heighten the atmosphere in places. The settings were effective, including a very tall ship’s mast. There was an especially good scene on the sea, where they cleverly used lengths of material with mermaids and people swimming in and out. Looking down from above on that was amazing.
The play was two and a half hours long and my youngest daughter, who was 6 and sometimes difficult to amuse; was entertained the whole way through. I would highly recommend going to see something there as it’s a magical setting. I loved it.