A THEATRE company has beaten lockdown pressures by preparing an open-air production of Peter Pan entirely over Zoom.

Chameleon Productions, based in Hockley, has a cast of 49, aged between six and 18.

Due to the pandemic, the cast, who live in 12 different locations across the UK, have been rehearsing entirely over Zoom since October 2020.

They will only meet days before they take to the stage on September 26.

Steve Hulse, 47, who founded the theatre company in January 2019, decided to arrange the production to keep the company alive over lockdowns.

Steve said: "I only actually know a handful of the cast personally through my company - the rest I only know through a window on the screen and I can't wait to meet them in person.


Villain - Captain Hook

"It has been a huge task but the 49 youngsters involved have been amazing.

"There is some real young talent involved in this production and without a doubt, some of these young people will go on to have professional acting careers.

"This project has really highlighted that, despite some negative press that young people often receive, there are many who are an absolute delight.

"I have thoroughly enjoyed meeting and working with all of these youngsters on Peter Pan and I can't wait to see their live performances."

After taking between 100 and 150 auditions over video call, Steve has been holding rehearsals three times a week over Zoom with the cast who have all sourced their own costumes.


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With two performances on the same day, all youngsters will be in both performances but as part of two teams so that the principal roles are taken on by a different actor in each performance.

The iconic role of Peter Pan will be shared by two boys - Noah Abbott, 12, from Essex and Ronan Williams, 14, from Norwich.

Josiah Capon, 15, and Elliot Royce, 17, will share the villainous role of Captain Hook, with Kitty Sudbery, eight, and Imogen Mead, 11, taking on the role of Tinkerbell.

Talitha Lang, 12, and Jasmine Myatt, 15, star as the beloved Wendy alongside Joe Lewis, 13, as young John and Elijah Cooper, 10, and Zane Siddiqui, nine, as the youngest Darling kid Michael.

The cast will only meet in person for three final rehearsals on September 11, 12 and 25 before performing two live shows for a live audience on September 26.

The cast will be performing in the open air setting of Hockley Woods.

Steve said: "Having the play performed outside will not only be safer but will also add a suitable backdrop for a show like Peter Pan.

"The outdoor setting will bring Neverland to life and hopefully give the audience a more intimate and interactive experience.

"I decided to have two actors each getting to be a principal role rather than just one - for instance, Peter Pan in the first performance will be a Lost Boy in the second and vice versa.

"The reason for this was that the talent was so great that I wanted everyone to have some limelight! Also, if there was any illness, I'd have an understudy ready.

Tickets for 'Peter Pan in the Park' are available with a percentage of sales being donated to the Make-A-Wish Foundation.

Visit www.chameleonproductions.co.uk.