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Edinburgh Fringe 2011

Peter Pan: Learn to Fly Workshop

ANGELS Aerials

Genre: Physical Theatre


Leith on the Fringe @ Out of the Blue Drill Hall


Low Down

A highly recommended introduction to "flying" through aerial theatre work from Angels Aerials


This workshop aimed at children aged 6 and above at the Leith venue was a perfect opportunity for my 7 year old to learn the ‘secrets’ of flying and that together with the Peter Pan show afterwards seemed like a great family treat as part of the Edinburgh fringe festival.

The workshop, led by the crew and cast of Peter Pan was well organised and clearly introduced with an emphasis on safety that didn’t deter from the fun and freedom of ‘learning to fly’.
The children were gently encouraged to explore some simple flying techniques, wearing harnesses that were individually checked and secured by the crew. Parents were invited to join in and 40 year olds gleefully reconnected with their inner Tinkerbells.
One child, initially tearful and reticent, hiding behind her Dad, was, by the end of the hour, gracefully flying above our heads in complete confidence.
It felt very non-threatening as everyone was free to engage as little or as much as they liked. The crew were warm and friendly with great energy and infectious humour. The space felt very safe and well supervised and quite magical with the stage lights and back drop. Parents could sit and watch from the seats and or stay next to their children if they needed some reassurance.
My seven year-old had a wonderful time, a little nervous at times I think, although he protested loudly when I asked if he was scared, his little chest puffed out in pride as he told my partner about how he swooped and soared high in the sky. It was a brilliant experience for him and very good confidence building. His only critique, after I saw him surruptitiously leap off the sofa to test out his flying skills, was that he hadn’t learned ‘real flying’ – he whispered that it was just ropes. But as he was beaming ear to ear I think this was a minor detail. It would have been lovely to have done the workshop AFTER seeing the show, to have got a sense of the possible range of movement and skillful technique although we did get to see one of the crew show us some beautiful flying at the start.
This workshop gives children and adults alike a fantastic insight into the ‘how’ of theatrical ‘flying’. It looked great fun and if I hadn’t been wearing a dress I would have been floating and swooping up in the ceiling with all the other tinkerbells and Peter Pans.