This week our Friday night film was the much loved Peter Pan. As they got ready for bed, my children asked whether they might put on a Peter Pan show the next day. Of course I said they could - but I wondered whether they would remember their plan. They often come up with something altogether different to play after a night's sleep.
But during breakfast and then as they each had a bath there was continual chatter about the Peter Pan show; from the characters and costumes to the location of scenes and ideas for props. This show was definitely going to happen. I went along with their plans - helping where I was allowed, but trying to keep distant enough so that it was their creativity driving the project along.
Firstly, costumes were chosen from their dress-up drawer; Buddy picked out a green tunic and belt for Peter, and Daisy put on a blue satin princess dress and her slippers to be Wendy. Buddy also wanted a green hat with a feather - so I helped him make one out of paper. I was also allowed to help Daisy with her hair-style; Wendy needed a kind of half-ponytail, apparently.
Costumes on, and characters collected - puppets for Captain Hook and Tinkerbell, and soft toys for the Lost Boys, Wendy's parents, Michael, John and Tiger-Lily - it was time to make posters advertising the show.
When these were completed and displayed, we rolled back the living room rug - for here was to be Neverland. They set up the mermaids' lagoon, Skull Rock (under the dining table), Captain Hook's pirate ship (the sofa) and the encampment for Tiger-Lily's family (a small table). All the characters were put into their starting positions around the house - this was clearly going to be a 'promenade' piece - and then it was time to begin...
The story started - as it does in the film - inside the nursery of the Darling family home in London (actually upstairs in the children's bedroom) where Wendy and Peter Pan meet, and the children learn to fly.
An exciting flight (down the stairs) towards 'the second star on the right and straight on till morning' took them to Neverland where they met Hook, the Lost Boys, the mermaids and Tiger-Lily. They quoted the film's script for most of the scenes - this was very much a Disney Peter Pan. Peter even had an American accent.
Buddy and Daisy were able to remember exactly what happened in the story - a sign we've seen this film a quite a few times - and they recreated all the exciting adventure using their puppets and soft toys when required. They were absolutely immersed in the action.
Their show was definitely more about climbing into the story than performing it for an audience - but it was all the more funny, convincing and exciting for that. I feel very lucky to have been allowed to see this magical production of Peter Pan before it transfers to the West End on the 12th of Never. It was outstanding.