‘The show must go on!’ as they say in showbiz. So despite some inclement weather we join the audience at Rippon Lea Gardens for The Australian Shakespeare Company‘s outdoor production of Alice and Peter Pan in Never Neverland, a mash-up of two beloved childhood stories, Alice in Wonderland and Peter Pan.
All your favourite characters from both books make an appearance – Alice, Peter Pan, the White Rabbit, March Hare, Mad Hatter, Queen of Hearts for instance. My favourite is Captain Hook, with his twirly moustache and awesome motorised pirate ship.
As usual with The Australian Shakespeare Company‘s performances there are lots of audience interaction, in-jokes and silly sing-along songs. There’s even a treasure hunt – basically a chance for kids to stretch their legs as it’s a relatively long show at 70 minutes. The highlight has to be the audience cannonball fight against the pirates where everyone is encouraged to throw the provided plastic balls at the stage!
Usually wriggly 3yo Baby 2.0 is intrigued by everything and joins in all the actions (even when asked ‘anybody who’s not here, raise your hand!’). Lady AB is terrified of the all-black character Peter Pan’s Shadow but otherwise enjoys the show.
Make sure you bring a picnic rug as the grass can be wet, and of course the appropriate weather gear as there’s no shelter from sun or rain. Everyone has snacks for the kids so pack a lunch box to help keep restless kids still.
After the performance you can have your photo taken with the characters and you can visit the inside of Rippon Lea House for an extra $5 per person. There is usually an entry fee for entering the garden but your ticket allows you to stay and enjoy the gardens.
There are lots of cafes on Glen Eira Road near Ripponlea station, most of which seemed to be kid-friendly.
Read review of other Australian Shakespeare Company shows:
- parking with no limits in nearby streets, Hotham Street has 2 hour free parking;
- Ripponlea train station is 5-10 minute walk;
- bring a rug or low chairs to sit on and a picnic to munch;
- you can take prams right to the audience area;
- show ticket includes entry into the Rippon Lea Gardens, which are usually $10/$4 per person.
- visit Rippon Lea House after the show for extra $5 per person instead of $15/$9 per person;
- there’s no shelter so bring appropriate weather gear; and
- eat at one of the many cafes on Glen Eira Road afterwards.