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Musical performance “Peter Pan and the White Bird Wendy” encouraged children to dream

On Saturday, 5 March, 200 theatre fans from the families of substitute homes and safe houses met in Pärnu, to see the fun “Peter Pan” play at the Endla theatre.

For many smaller children, this was their first visit to a real theatre and on top of that it also included a bus trip. Of course they were a bit excited before and couldn’t imagine how far they needed to drive. After an hour on the bus, one girl from Tallinn asked if the bus was already outside Tallinn and one six-year-old boy thought that they were even going out of Estonia.

Bigger children had already read the book “Peter Pan”. For instance, Tatjana could tell others before the trip to the theatre that the play revolves around a small green boy who can fly, refuses to grow up, and lives in some strange country.

Holiday makers on ice

As this day offered the first opportunity for many people to get to know Pärnu, several families decided to visit the famous Pärnu beach before the play. The children from Tallinn Shelter for Children were at first not very happy about going to the beach in winter, but later they did not want to leave the ice. In addition, people from the Tartu Children’s Safe House also went walking on the beach before the play. Besides the beach, the children from Haiba also had time for the marina and the Vallikäär.

What’s the difference between real life and a play?

The play impressed everyone. The children from Kiikla thought that the dog nanny and the ticking crocodile who terrorised everybody were especially realistic. They experienced the joy of recognition by the fact of how after swallowing bitter medicine it is always good have something sweet, like candy. The crocodile was the favourite part for the children from Tartu Mäe Home, while they found Peter Pan to be lovely as well. The children from Elva admired the courageous pirates and Indians.

While many girls mostly liked Wendy and the children arriving back at home, the boys were impressed by the loud gunshots. They were so loud that, after the first shots had been fired, many children covered their ears with their hands and one of the boys from Haiba also had time to quickly gather his feet onto his chair.

When the actors came back to the stage for the final bow, little Andre asked loudly: “How come Hook is back on stage? He got killed.” After the play, the teacher explained the difference between life and a play to the boy.

There were also lots of discoveries for those who had already seen the play (for example, when visiting with a class). One boy from Pärnu understood only this time that the captain of the thieves is Sepo Seeman, who actually still has his own hand and the hook was only attached for the play.

Intermission was for resting, thinking, and looking around

Children from the Tallinn Pihlaka Home liked the play so much that they did not want to leave their seats during the break, but were willing to continue watching immediately. During the break, many children viewed photos of actors on the walls and schedules. When he found the thought “Every time a new-born smiles for the first time, a new fairy is born into the world” from the programme, Marko, from Tallinn, who has a four month old brother, thought that there must be many fairies in the world.

Those children who wanted to feel at ease during the break could cheerfully scream and laugh in the pillar hall. They played, chased one another, and discussed the most exciting parts of the play. Children could be children without the theatre’s characteristic restraint inhibiting them.

Familiar star from their own children’s village

For the children from the Pärnu Children’s Village, the play was particularly special because one 11-year-old boy from their home was also on the stage. His sister was also at the play, and said that she liked her brother the most - especially the way he ran into the twins and that he was so good on stage.

Their own boy in the play was the highlight for many children from Pärnu Children’s Village. Many of them had already seen the play several times. 

The rising young star from Pärnu Children’s Village was excellent. It was not that easy for the boy, as he had to perform in two plays for the very first time that day. However, in spite of the long working day, he was excellent in his role and endured the performances bravely, like a professional.

You can’t wash the hand with an autograph

The play lasted for over two hours. After it was over, the children had the opportunity to meet the actors in the hall: they had a family photo taken with their favourite and asked for autographs. For example, the children from Männi Safe House got autographs from Peter Pan, the dog, and the father.

Little Liza was very happy that she could pat the dog and make an acquaintance. Ele had the courage to tell Hook that he is one funny guy. 

A boy from the Safe House for the Mother and Child received an autograph from Peter Pan, who wrote in his book “Be swell!”. The boy received autographs from two more actors. He was extremely happy, and said that this is his most important book, and he shall keep it for the rest of life and also show it at school!

The children from Haiba even had their hands signed. For this reason, many could not wash their hands afterwards because otherwise the autograph would have been erased.

Tartu children rode back with Peter Pan!

Theatre fans from Tartu received a beautiful and spontaneous surprise because actor Sander Rebane, who played the protagonist Peter Pan, rode back in the same bus with them. The fact that you are in the same bus with the real Peter Pan – “Oh my!”, “Can’t be!” – knocked out all the children. What luck! And although the actor only stayed with them until Viljandi, this was a real miracle for the children.

When they got home late in the evening, everyone was happy about the day. One youngster from Kiikla, who is usually very picky about events, was happy about the theatre visit and on the way home said: “It is quite a lot of fun to be young, but my birthday is in a couple of weeks and I will be another year older.”

One boy from the Pihlaka Home said the next day that he would definitely start doing plays himself, charge EUR 10 for the plays, would put them on outside, and would make people laugh. 

Immediately heading home to read

At dinner, each family had received a full-length “Peter Pan” book as a gift, where they later collected autographs from the actors. Of course, this writing became desirable for many.

On the way home, the children from Kiikla put their names on a list to read the book, while the children of Tartu Mäe Home did something similar for those interested in reading. Many others also really wanted to re-read what they had seen and heard on the stage from the book. 


Triin Lumi
Non-Profit Association SEB Heategevusfond

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