Hannah McIver is our Wendy as Peter Pan flies into Portsmouth's New Theatre Royal

New Theatre Royal Portsmouth Hannah McIver - Credit - Peter Langdown
New Theatre Royal Portsmouth Hannah McIver - Credit - Peter Langdown

It will be her second time in the role – and she is expecting to find different things to savour.

“I saw that they were doing Peter Pan in Portsmouth and initially I was a bit sceptical about whether I wanted to do it just because of the whole Peter Pan the pantomime thing, but they told me that it was going to be a Christmas extravaganza, not a pantomime, that there wouldn’t be a dame or anything like that… and so I wanted to do it.

“I have done Peter Pan in the past when I was much younger. I just wanted to be able to do something different. I was Wendy before, but I was only about 15 or 16 then. I am now 22. It will be different doing it having gone through those teenage years myself. I now have more experience of being a woman which is what I think Wendy is all about. That’s definitely what she is trying to find within herself, but she also wants to go to Neverland… but she does have that natural motherly thing inside her. It is like the two things are fighting inside her, and I want to bring that factor to Wendy. It will be so much fun.

“I trained at Guildford School of Acting for three years. I was very lucky to get in first time. I couldn’t believe it. I was absolutely thrilled. The training was great. I made lots and lots of contacts, and it was definitely confidence-boosting, going on stage and performing. That was wonderful. I only graduated this year, in June.

“It was scary leaving. Very scary, but it is something that you have got to get used to. You are in a bit of a bubble when you go to drama school, and then finally leaving and being out in the big wide world can be very overwhelming. But you have just got to stay patient and understand that the jobs are not going to just flow in. You have got to remember to do all the things that you enjoy doing outside of musical theatre, things like meeting up with your friends and make sure that you are not just concentrating on the fact that the jobs are not coming in! But having said that, I have been very lucky. Before I graduated I got my first job at the Charing Cross Theatre doing a new musical which did a run for about three or four months.

“I was pretty busy and then I had a month before Peter Pan started. I found myself getting bored and seeing other friends in shows and being super-busy. But you have just got to tell yourself that you have got to be patient, and you have got to get better at being patient and knowing that your time will come. You just need to be aware that it is perfectly normal and that things will happen.”

The cast also includes Samuel Bailey as Peter, and musical and stand-up artist Ariane Barnes as Lily, who joins from Showstoppers the Improvised Musical. Joining them will be musical theatre actors Yasmine Gazzal as Tinker Bell, Joshua Crowther as Smee, Molly Cattanach as Mrs Darling, Rebecca Frew as Starkey, Liam Glyd as Neptune and Harry Robinson as Blackbeard.


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