Follow TV Tropes

Following

Theatre / Peter Pan Goes Wrong

Go To

https://static.tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pub/images/ip102_theatre_play.jpg

"Obviously, he wasn't thinking his happy thoughts."
The Narrator, after some snapped cords send an actor falling
Advertisement:

Peter Pan Goes Wrong is the sequel to The Play That Goes Wrong, also written by Henry Lewis, Jonathan Sayer, and Henry Shields. They are all part of the Mischief Theatre Company.

The Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, riding high on their previous successful play performances, has been commissioned to perform Peter Pan for the holiday season, as it is a traditional Christmas vignette and not a Pantomime (Oh yes it is!). Once again, just about everything that can go wrong does, and some cast drama even gets pushed to the forefront.

In 2016, The BBC televised an hour-long live production of Peter Pan Goes Wrong, narrated by David Suchet, with parts of the script revised for TV. It was followed by A Christmas Carol Goes Wrong.

Advertisement:

Peter Pan Goes Wrong contains examples of:

  • Acting for Two: In-universe:
    • Chris (the director), following tradition, plays both Mr. Darling and Captain Hook.
    • Robert plays Nana, Peter's shadow, and Starkey the pirate.
    • Max plays Michael and the Crocodile.
    • Annie plays Mrs. Darling, Liza the maid, Tinker Bellnote , Tiger Lily, and a female pirate.
    • Dennis plays John and Mr. Smee, though not always in the right costume.
  • Adaptation Distillation: The BBC's version fits either most or all of the key Peter Pan story beats in one hour.
  • Adaptational Heroism: In-universe, thanks to Max's improvising around various disasters, the crocodile becomes the real hero of the story.
  • Adorkable: Max is a sweet, not-too-bright guy full of unbridled enthusiasm and friendliness. Sandra picks him over the showboating Jonathan in the end.
  • Advertisement:
  • Almost Kiss: After Max takes over the role of Peter, his attempt to kiss Wendy gets interrupted by Peter's first actor, Jonathan, coming back on stage.
  • Amusing Injuries: No one seems to make it through the play unscathed.
  • Audience Participation: Chris argues with the viewers over whether or not to treat Peter Pan as a pantomime.
    Chris: Where is Peter Pan?
    Audience: Behind you!
    Chris, losing his temper: I know he's behind me! I directed the show, I told him to go there! You have to let me find him! Idiots.
  • Awesome, but Impractical: Tinker Bell's luminous dress requires an extension cord to stay lit. Plus, Annie gets shocked pretty badly when some of Peter's medicine splashes on it.
  • Black Comedy: Robert's anecdote about the time he was responsible for a child actor's death both as the direct cause of the accident, and because he was parked in such a way that the ambulance could not reach him in time. In the TV broadcast, it's David Suchet who gives this anecdote.
  • Blatant Lies: In the TV version, when Chris requests an earpiece for Dennis so he can be fed his lines, Trevor replies that he has a headset.
    Chris: Will it be noticeable?
    Trevor: ...No.
  • Brick Joke: After Annie is electrocuted:
    Sandra: David! Call an ambulance! ...And move your car!
  • Clap Your Hands If You Believe: When the time comes for Tinker Bell to drink the poisoned medicine, Annie experiences an unscripted electrocution. Even though it doesn't look like she'll wake up, Tootles' actress, Lucy, attempts to pick up the script where Peter's actor left off, overcoming her own stage fright. As everyone either onstage or in the audience joins her in clapping while chanting, "I believe in fairies!", the noise surprisingly helps Annie regain consciousness.
  • Clothing Damage: The cords meant to lift up the Darling children tear off their pajamas instead.
  • Comedic Underwear Exposure: Sandra (Wendy's actress) and Dennis experience this after losing their PJs, while Max deliberately pulls his pants down to match them.
    • The door opens during Annie's quick change, revealing her half dressed in just her bra.
  • Creative Closing Credits: In the BBC version, even the end credits fall apart.
  • Cross-Cast Role: In-universe, Robert's niece, Lucy, plays Tootles the Lost Boy.
  • Crossover Punchline: The climax of the BBC version sends the pirates sailing through the sets of Eggheads, BBC News at Ten, and Teletubbies, surprising cast members from all of those shows. In a Contrived Coincidence, the pirates appear on Eggheads right after a contestant answers a question with the word, "Piracy". By the time they finally return to their own stage, Po the Teletubby somehow ends up on their ship, and joins in the Peter Pan finale.
  • Crowd Song: Peter's friends praise the power of imagination through the musical number "The World of Make Believe". The pirates also have their own shanty.
  • Cue Card Pause: During the Marooner's Rock scene, Dennis does not have his headset and Francis has to feed him his lines via cue cards. Due to being written in a hurry, they break in some unfortunate places (though this may be the irritated crew trolling Dennis):
    "THIS IS A TERRIBLE SHOW... OF COWARDICE"
    "YOU CANNOT ACT... IN THIS WAY"
    "YOU SHALL TREMBLE AT THE SIGHT OF HOOK'S IMPRESSIVE ARSE... NAL OF WEAPONS BACK ABOARD THE JOLLY ROGER"
    • Also occurs when Trevor steps in as Peter, and has to read his lines from a script.
    "PETER BEGINS TO EAT TINKER BELL... SEEMS MOST UNHAPPY, WENDY"
  • Demoted to Extra: At least in the BBC version, each Lost Boy aside from Tootles has his role reduced to essentially an unnamed cameo during "The World of Make Believe".
  • Dull Surprise: Trevor reads the script in a dull monotone when he has to step in as Peter Pan.
  • Earpiece Conversation: Dennis has so much trouble remembering his lines, he comes onto stage wearing a giant headset, so someone could read the script to him.
  • Funny Background Event: When Annie sings a lullaby as Mrs. Darling the stagehands are in the background trying to get Robert unstuck from the doggie door. Eventually, they decide to cut him out and the sound of the power saw drowns out Annie's singing.
  • Going Commando: At least in the TV special, when Wendy grabs onto Peter flying to Never Land, Sandra accidentally pulls down Jonathan's pants, and reveals him to have no underwear.
  • Help, I'm Stuck!: Nana gets stuck in the doggy door, twice.
  • Hotter and Sexier: Sandra plays Wendy surprisingly seductively despite the character being a child, Annie gyrates suggestively when portraying Tinkerbell, and "The World of Make Believe" features scantily-clad backing dancers (and Robert writhing around in a skin-tight leotard).
  • Informed Flaw: Max is said to be a terrible actor, when in reality he seems no worse than the rest. If anything, he's actually one of the better actors — he knows his lines, and knows Jonathan's well enough to jump in and substitute for him at a moment's notice, and he's pretty good at improvising when necessary. This may be explained through a combination of low self-esteem on Max's part and what are heavily implied to be plenty of over-inflated and preening egotists backstage; everyone treats Max like the worst actor both to prevent him from outshining them while simultaneously massaging their own egos, and Max simply lacks the confidence to assert himself.
  • Is This Thing Still On?: The pre-recorded audio portions reveal some unintentionally recorded, unflattering conversations regarding Max.
  • Jurisdiction Friction: In the BBC adaptation, Trevor clashes with the BBC stage manager over who has overall authority over the production.
  • Kick the Dog: Jonathan-as-Peter takes a moment to reference the "crocodile, that nobody likes," while glaring directly at Max. To be absolutely fair, he had just found out Max had a thing for his girlfriend, but this still comes off as so spiteful and mean-spirited that in the TV recording, you can actually hear a couple of audience members booing him.
  • Kissing Under the Influence: Annie starts kissing Jonathan while she is still woozy from being electrocuted. Jonathan responds rather enthusiastically. This trope might be why Sandra, although righteously pissed at Jonathan, isn't mad at Annie and can even be heard saying, "It's not your fault" to her.
  • Living Shadow: Peter's shadow is played by Robert in a black bodysuit.
  • Losing a Shoe in the Struggle: The first time Robert gets stuck in the doggie door, Chris has to squeeze himself through the back door, causing one of his shoes to slip off. He grabs it before he closes the door.
  • Love Triangle: One ensues between Max, Sandra, and Jonathan.
  • Medication Tampering: In keeping with the source material, Hook poisons Pan's medicine in the Play Within a Play. However, unlike the original, this goes on to have near-fatal effects on the actress playing Tink.
  • Mind Your Step: When Trevor (as Peter Pan) steps on to the table, he steps on a loose plank which flips up and hits him the face, knocking him out.
  • Nepotism: In addition to Lucy, the play's dialogue explains that Max plays two roles as a result of his uncle making a generous donation to the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, while the TV special explains that Max's aunt owns the BBC. Played with a bit in Lucy's case, however, since she suffers from stage fright and doesn't seem to want to be there at all, but is bullied into participating by her uncle.
  • Newscaster Cameo: In the BBC version, after Robert crashes into some TV monitors, the feed cuts to the BBC News at Ten studio, and an unprepared Clive Myrie. Later, the pirate ship sails past him, in the midst of a report.
  • No Indoor Voice: Except when singing, Dennis yells everything his headphones pick up, even if it has nothing to do with Peter Pan.
  • Oh, No... Not Again!: Robert's reaction to getting stuck in the door as Nana again.
  • The Other Darrin: In-universe: Peter Pan goes through three different actors, due to some accidents knocking Peter out cold.
  • Pantomime: invoked Most of the cast and the entire audience are there for a silly, entertaining show. Chris, however, seems to think he's doing a serious play, and keeps getting upset whenever the audience try and participate.
  • Panty Shot: Annie gets one when she has to change from Mrs. Darling to Tinker Bell, and again when she goes backstage through the doggy door.
  • Performance Anxiety: Lucy suffers from a serious case of stage fright. She gradually overcomes it, to the extent that when the narrator goes unconscious, she manages to deliver his final speech.
  • Plank Gag: Robert (as Starkey) repeatedly knocks down Dennis (Smee) and Annie (Tiger Lily) by turning around too quickly while wearing the rowboat prop.
  • Reading the Stage Directions Out Loud:
    • Dennis says whatever is broadcast through his headset, even the director berating him for doing so.
    • Trevor does this when taking over for Jonathan, since he didn't have much time to study the script before going onstage. Plus, he's not an actor — he's a crew member who is heavily implied to have been dragged into being the understudy against his will.
  • Rescue Romance: Max wins Sandra's affections when he pushes her out of the way of some falling debris.
  • Role Reprise: invoked After Annie's electrocution in the BBC version, David Suchet tries to entertain the viewers with a Hercule Poirot impression.
  • Romance on the Set: In-universe, Jonathan and Sandra have a backstage fling.
  • Running Gag: Several:
    • A cab horn continually going off.
    • Lucy getting injured every time she shows up.
    • The audience treating the production as a pantomime, and Chris getting pissy when the audience treat the production as a pantomime.
    • Anyone "flying" is absolutely going to get hurt.
  • Saying Sound Effects Out Loud: The crocodile's lines consist only of, "Snap! Snap!"
  • The Show Must Go On: Say what you like about the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, but they don't give up and will finish their play, come what may.
  • The Show Must Go Wrong: Taken Up to Eleven compared to The Play That Goes Wrong.
  • Slapstick Knows No Gender: Absolutely no one is spared. By the end, Annie's been electrocuted and Lucy's broken both her legs. Sandra dodges the worst of it, but is still tossed around a fair bit.
  • Spontaneous Choreography: Peter's shadow takes the thought of "dancing away" literally.
  • Stock Footage Failure: The BBC version has an invoked example. One conversation between Hook and his crew consists of pre-taped footage of Chris "at sea", and live footage of Dennis and Robert at Skull Rock. Chris' segments have a blatantly different setting, and interruptions from other people didn't get edited out.
  • Subverted Rhyme Every Occasion: Almost everything Dennis' headphones pick up during "The World of Make Believe" rhymes with the real lyrics... except for either a beep on stage, or the Teletubbies theme song on the BBC.
  • Suddenly Speaking: Tinker Bell doesn't usually talk, but she does help sing "The World of Make Believe", giving Annie more to do during the number than dance around.
  • Tempting Fate:
    • Whenever one of Peter's actors exclaims, "To die would be an awfully big adventure!", he gets knocked out of commission. Gets a Triumphant Reprise at the end, where a newly-confident Lucy declares, "To live would be an awfully big adventure."
    • In one of those incidents, Trevor reads the stage direction, "Peter flies up onto the table." Having just been knocked into the walls and dropped multiple times, he immediately looks offstage at the rest of the crew and firmly shakes his head "no." He then goes for the safer option of using a chair to climb up onto the table — and promptly causes a plank to shoot up and knock him out cold.
  • This Is Gonna Suck: During the flying scene, Max and Dennis have to go out of the window, but the wires are no longer attached to either of them, so they just give each other a knowing look, grab each others' hands, brace for the worst, and jump.
  • Throw the Dog a Bone: The two biggest punching bags, Max and Lucy, wind up being the ones that save the day.
  • Took the Bad Film Seriously: invoked Chris treats the production as if it's a serious play rather than the entertaining pantomime that the audience expects.
  • Trash the Set: Several catastrophes throughout the night leave the set wrecked.
  • The Unfavorite: Max laments having to play the crocodile, since apparently no one likes that character.
  • The Unintelligible: Starkey sounds nigh impossible to understand.
  • Walk the Plank: In a twist from the usual Peter Pan story, Sandra sends Tootles down the plank.
  • Woman Scorned: Sandra becomes rather pissed when she catches Jonathan and Annie kissing.
  • Your Cheating Heart: Jonathan makes out with Annie despite his relationship with Sandra.
Top

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:

/

Media sources:

/

Report