(Photo courtesy No Rules Theatre Company)
The entertainment we are consuming has taken a turn towards the dark side. The likes of Adam West’s Batman and Christopher Reeve’s Superman are long gone, replaced with darker retellings of our classic stories and heroes. Christopher Nolan re-imagined Batman with his Dark Knight trilogy and even Disney, the biggest name behind the glitter and glam of the 90′s, tapped Tim Burton when it decided to make Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Shows like Grimm and Once Upon a Time have taken our childhood fairy tales and turned them into chilling dramas.
That being said, it’s only fitting that No Rules Theatre Company‘s production of Peter Pan: The Boy Who Hated Mothers would be grittier than anything that Cathy Rigby would do.
By the way, I can’t believe she’s still playing the role at 58.
This week the production opened at the H Street Playhouse, I talked with cast members Adam Downs, Nathan Mendez, and John Evans Reese (who plays Pan) about Michael Lluberes’ adaptation of the classic J. M. Barrie tale.
The phrase “darker adaption” was thrown around a lot during our conversation but Downs adds, “you can call it darker but you can also say the stakes are more real.”
There are no songs, no sugar coating, no spectacle with Pan. Instead the show works out to be an essential reaction to the “Disney-fication” of our youth. A leap away from happily ever after and more towards something more authentic and real, as described by Reese.
“We’re really hungry for the truth,” Reese explains, “so what is true about Peter Pan? He steals children, takes them back, thins then out when they start growing up…there’s so much death in this story that’s been glittered.”