Pirates storm Warrior as they practice for latest performance

AVAST Robert Marsh as Captain Hook and Kerry Bover as Peter Pan, and inset the rest of the cast.   Picture: Allan Hutchings (113414-574)
AVAST Robert Marsh as Captain Hook and Kerry Bover as Peter Pan, and inset the rest of the cast. Picture: Allan Hutchings (113414-574)
Pudsey the bear and St Thomas More headteacher Colin Flanagan Picture: Habibur Rahman

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ACTORS trod the boards of a new stage – HMS Warrior.

Thespians in the Bish Bash Bosh Theatre Company dressed in their Peter Pan costumes and full make-up to rehearse a fight scene held on-board Captain Hook’s pirate ship.

AVAST The cast of Peter Pan.   Picture: Allan Hutchings (113414-625)

AVAST The cast of Peter Pan. Picture: Allan Hutchings (113414-625)

The special rehearsal helped members of the local group – aimed at those with mental and physical disabilities – to explore the life of a pirate ahead of their show in the Kings Theatre.

Kerry Bover, 27, of Walsall Road, Copnor, who plays Peter Pan, said: ‘It was really exciting to be on the ship and slightly overwhelming at the same time.

‘It gave me a real insight into the character, which will help me a lot with the fight scene, and it helped with my confidence.

‘Now I can imagine what it would have been like for Peter Pan.’

The company has been going for four years, but this is the first time it has performed on a professional stage – thanks a donation from the Self Advocacy Group for the hire cost of the venue.

Peter Fear, 36, of Stamshaw Road, Stamshaw, plays the comedy character of Hook’s parrot in the adaptation of the children’s book.

He said: ‘I can’t wait to perform at the Kings Theatre, it’s like a dream come true.

‘I’ve seen lots of other people there but I never imagined it could be me, it’s really exciting.

‘And it’s been great to get onboard Warrior in costume too.

‘I’ve been on the ship before, but doing it for the play is a totally different experience.

‘It was really nice to be able to walk the same boards that people did in those times.’

The play has been written specifically for the cast by the company’s founder and director, Jenny Ames, and rehearsals have been taking place for around a year in The Learning Place, Derby Road, North End.

Jenny says sometimes the actors have a bit of trouble retaining information due to their disabilities, so the group has to rehearse more often than most would.

She said: ‘There is a huge difference in the students since we started the project.

‘Their confidence has grown and they are so eager and enthusiastic about everything.

‘They’ve all got really close and they look after each other now, which is really nice to see.

‘The whole thing is all about increasing their confidence, and showing the public their abilities rather than focusing on their disabilities.

‘Sometimes people can focus on the wrong thing when they meet people with disabilities and that’s what we want to change.’

Peter Pan is at the Kings Theatre, Southsea, on October 7, at 7.30pm. Tickets cost £5 and can be bought from the box office on (023) 9282 8282 or from The Learning Centre.