It should have been the highlight of the season at Exeter’s Northcott but sadly the theatre Gods have intervened and the first night of the Christmas family show Peter Pan has been cancelled.

The theatre has released this statement to the media this evening: “We’re very proud and excited to be presenting J.M. Barrie’s magical play of Peter Pan this Christmas. The show is in preview this weekend, with the press night on Monday evening.”

“We are presenting a very ambitious staging, with an inventive set and large cast, including local children. We have taken the very difficult decision to cancel Friday night’s preview and all customers have been re-accommodated at a later date, or if they preferred, refunded.”

Reports reaching Children’s Theatre Magazine from sources close to the production said the decision to cancel tonight’s show (Friday, December 2) was taken on Thursday and that ticket holders were then urgently contacted. Details emerged that the show simply wasn’t ready and a decision was made to put back the opening night 24 hours. Peter Pan is traditionally an extremely difficult play to stage with its wires for the flying scenes and large sets consisting of the pirate ship to Wonderland and of course London.

JM Barrie wrote the story as a play with a number of stage instructions further complicating the drama but due to its magical theme of flight, wild adventures with Indians, mermaids and pirates the show has been a hit since it was written.

Press night is on Monday and the play is set to run from tonight, Friday, December 2, to January 1, 2017. More on Twitter and Facebook and at www.childrenstheatremagazine.co.uk

The Northcott has more on the show on their Twitter account – showing some of the challenging technical issues which lie at the heart of the show.

The listing for the show in Children’s Theatre Magazine is below:

EXETER Exeter Northcott Theatre, Stocker Road, Exeter, Devon EX4 4QB; 01392 493 493; http://exeternorthcott.co.uk/ PETER PAN Fri 2 December 2016 – Sun 1 January 2017 Age 5+ Directed by Paul Jepson. Production Design by Ellan Parry. Escape to Neverland this Christmas with Exeter Northcott Theatre and the boy who never grew up… Join Wendy, John and Michael as they soar into the night sky with Peter, to a magical land of mermaids and fairy dust, where children can fly and all sorts of exciting adventures happen every day.  But beware – danger is just around the corner. Captain Hook and the pirates are looking for revenge and Peter Pan is top of their list! For over a hundred years children (and adults) have drifted off to sleep dreaming of Tinkerbell, the Lost Boys, fairy dust, crocodiles and of course the villainous Captain Hook.  Featuring death defying feats of flying and a generous sprinkling of fairy dust, let your imagination soar in this magical new stage adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s classic story – the perfect festive treat for all the family.