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Wednesday, June 16, 2021

Sequel more than flash in a pan

After working on 30 community theatre productions growing up here, Canberra actor Jordan Prosser is having the time of his life touring Peter Pan Goes Wrong.

An understudy on the 2017 Australian tour of The Play That Goes Wrong, he reprises his role of Max, a member of the Cornley Polytechnic Drama Society, an incompetent theatre company who try, rather hopelessly, to stage big-scale productions.

Having begun touring in New Zealand in October last year, Prosser says the production is a well-oiled machine by this point.

“It has its own challenges in keeping it fresh and alive, and in theory conceptually every night is supposed to be opening night.”

Peter Pan Goes Wrong, like its predecessor The Play That Goes Wrong, leans into the comedic tradition of the British farce.

The show sees its cast battle against technical hitches, flying mishaps and cast disputes with hilarious and disastrous results.

“It’s that perfect blend of lots of physical comedy, pratfalls, slapstick, wordplay banter and a lot of audience interaction,” Prosser says.

“There’s a play within a play where we’re all playing actors who are part of a hapless theatre group that try to mount these huge scale productions well beyond their means.

“As a kid if you haven’t seen a stage production of Peter Pan, you still get to come along and see it play out with the addition of all these other onstage gags.

“It’s a send up of Peter Pan, but when you get to the end of the performance, it’s achieved what it set out to.”

Prosser says it’s always an amazing feeling for him to come home and perform at the Canberra Theatre.

“All the character archetypes in this – the egomaniac director, the actress trying to making it to Hollywood – you recognise those archetypes in people I met in Canberra.

“It was a wonderful, wonderful time as a kid doing those shows in Canberra; it feels like it’s come full circle now.”

Peter Pan Goes Wrong will be performed at Canberra Theatre 6-10 February; canberratheatrecentre.com.au

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