Review: Underneath A Magical Moon | Waterside Arts Centre, Sale

By Simon Donohue

On wings of pure imagination, three young children soar over rooftops lit by a magical moon.

They are on their way to visit lands inhabited by untrustworthy singing mermaids (made, of course, out of colourful sleeping bags), and will eventually have a brush with a Captain Hook-baiting garden tool clock-odile.

They will meet tiny Tinker Bell, a shining ball of green neon light, who zips back and forth, this way and that, pausing for a while in the hands of the performers. Suspend disbelief, and you’ll have a magical time too…

With only three multi-talented performers, all accomplished dancers, musicians and storytellers, Underneath A Magical Moon transport us from the wonderful Waterside Arts Centre in Sale and to an ordinary suburban back garden in summertime, then on to Neverland and back.

This time, Wendy Darling (Grace Lancaster) is our narrator, and obviously enough, our adventure begins as she tells the story of Peter Pan (Jack Brett) in a Wendy House constructed in the traditional way, using gardens canes and covered in bed clothes.

She gazes out at the night sky, then recounts gentle tales of children who never grew up, and those who wonder whether they want to.

We know the story of course, but this is a refreshingly different take on it, brought to life with lovely narrative dance moves, fun songs, and a live soundtrack including a saxophone, clarinet and a trio of ukulele.

The finale we all know is coming is a brush with Captain Hook (Chris Draper), but this is very different from any version of Peter Pan you’ll have seen before.

The best children’s theatre is accessible and innovative, encouraging young minds to explore a concept through creativity.

Under A Magical My Moon achieves that with a charm all its own, using wonderfully simple yet effective props to bring the J.M. Barrie classic to life with a new perspective.

Tutti fruity productions and York Theatre Royal has achieved something lovely for families and a refreshing alternative to the festive panto. A truly magical something to do if you’re looking for adventure this Christmas.

Underneath a Magical Moon is at Sale Waterside Arts Centre until December 31st and is aimed at children aged 3+.
Tickets are priced at between £10 and £16. Box office: 0161 912 5616 or visit

Underneath a Magical Moon was written by Mike Kenny and is presented by tutti frutti productions and York Theatre Royal.