Sephora makes Wendy a little feistier for Chichester Festival Youth Theatre’s Peter Pan

Sephora Parish as Wendy. Picture by Manuel Harlan
Sephora Parish as Wendy. Picture by Manuel Harlan

One of the alternating Wendys in Chichester Festival Youth Theatre’s production of Peter Pan this Christmas will be Sephora Parish (December 17-31).

Sephora, aged 17, of Southsea, will be offering us a Wendy with a twist.

“I wanted to play her a little bit different from the typical Wendy that you usually get,” she says.

“I would say that Wendy is usually a bit of a wet character. She is usually very girly. She goes along with everything. But the way I am playing her is to make her a little bit more feisty, more confident, more assertive.

“We are using the original J M Barrie script, which was written many years ago. Back then, she would have been a stereotypical young girl, but now we are in the modern age, I would like to tweak the character slightly while still staying true to the spirit of the original.

“By making her a little bit more feisty, a bit more assertive, I can relate to her a little bit more. Being able to relate to the character you are playing is really important.”

11-year-old Archie Elliot, of Funtington, agrees.

He is playing Nibs, one of the Lost Boys: “He has to be very cheeky, but he does not have a mother, and there has to be an element from his childhood that is missing. He doesn’t know certain things in his life.”

This is Archie’s second show for the Youth Theatre, following a Children on the Edge show earlier this year: “It is just amazing to be on that stage. It is very different to any other stage, the way it is set up.

“There are lots of different plays that come here and go on to the West End. It is a real honour to be on that stage. I love being on there and seeing all the people.

“I want not just to perform but to perform to them from every angle.”

Sephora has a similar sense of privilege: “The only other Youth Theatre show I have done was 101 Dalmatians. I played Missus in that, the mum dog. Just knowing that most of the most prestigious and well-known actors have been on that stage is great. It is definitely an honour to be on that stage.

“You think about it during rehearsal but once you step onto that stage you just can’t think about it. You become so engrossed in what you are doing.”

Visit www.cft.org.uk.

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