Rose Theatre’s Wendy actresses on their roles in Peter Pan

Rose Theatre’s Wendy actresses on their roles in Peter Pan

We hear from Isla and Amelie, the two young actresses in the dual role of Wendy in Peter Pan at Rose Theatre.

By Tara Robinson

Main image: Isla in rehearsal

This Christmas, Rose Theatre is allowing their young actors to shine. In their dazzling production of Peter Pan, the majority of the child roles are split between two casts from Rose Youth Theatre: the Green Cast and the Pink Cast. These are ambitious and challenging roles for these young actors, particularly for Isla Griffiths and Amelie Abbott, the two actresses embodying the main role of Wendy.

We caught up with the two actresses ahead of the premiere of Peter Pan, to ask them what it’s like to step onto the Kingston stage (or fly, as the case may be).

Isla (Green Cast) and Amelie (Pink Cast) were very much looking forward to the premiere, having both grown up on the story of Peter Pan. “It was such a big part of my childhood,” said Amelie. “…now that I get to tell that story as a ‘recent’ adult is so special.” She elaborated on the Rose’s interpretation of the story: “This version of Peter Pan explores the themes of what it really means to grow up, and that adults are still children at heart.”

When asked what they were most looking forward to about the show, Isla said, “I have to say that I am most looking forward to seeing the puppetry in action! There has been so much hard work put into this and seeing the final results are going to be so exciting.”

Meanwhile, Amelie was most excited about the story: “I can’t wait to start sharing this story with audiences, especially families, as this adaptation of Peter Pan is centred around what it takes to form a loving family, and the sacrifices parents make for their children.”

In terms of what challenges arose throughout production, Isla explained how the elaborate settings and environments that were required to be constructed presented challenges for the production team, but added, “the creative team have done such a good job with making it all work and flow seamlessly together.”

Amelie expressed that her biggest challenge was ensuring her performance was fresh every night, but also added, “maybe having to say all the rude things I say to my mother; played by Michelle Bishop, as I adore her.”

Amelie (right) and Isla (left) in rehearsal (c) Mark Douet

As actors who have been with the Rose from a young age, the girls had words of advice for aspiring young actors who want to enter the industry:

“Acting and performing is all about having fun! So enjoy playing within the make-believe and telling a story with other talented people,” said Amelie.

Meanwhile, Isla’s advice was “to find people that are going to challenge you and push you in the best ways because that is when you’ll be getting your own best results!” She added: “Keep loving theatre, film or whatever aspect you are interested in, it is a joy to be able to create and meet new people so why shouldn’t you love it!”

When asked about their ambitions and hopes for their futures, both girls gave thoughtful and heartfelt answers. “I want to make people think and evaluate, I want to spread knowledge and make people feel seen and heard while exploring something I love doing in different and creative ways,” said Isla.

“I want to move people through the art of storytelling and I would love to perform at the National Theatre one day, or direct my own piece of theatre,” said Amelie.

Such profound words from such young actors. We at Time & Leisure wish Isla and Amelie all the best in their careers.

You can see Isla and Amelie in action in Peter Pan at the Rose Theatre – showing from now until 7 January.