Neverland Director says “Jump Out of A Plane? I Can do That!”
The moment you doubt that you can fly, you cease forever to be able to do it.
– JM Barrie, Peter Pan
No doubt these very words will be rushing through Martin Berry’s mind as he prepares to jump out of a plane, 10,000 feet in the air on Saturday 28 November at Langar Airfield in Nottinghamshire.
Martin is director of Nottingham Lakeside’s Arts’ Christmas production Neverland, an adaptation of Barrie’s classic, intended especially for young audiences and their families.
Although based on Peter Pan, Neverland has been written by Julian Butler, with original music and lyrics created from scratch for the show at Lakeside. Produced by the same team who brought A Christmas Carol to Lakeside’s stage in 2013, Neverland features a multi-skilled cast of three, bringing to life Christmassy songs, music, laughter as well as some magical sleight of hand and stunning digital projection.
Martin has bravely volunteered to take part in a sponsored parachute jump to raise money for Great Ormond Street Hospital, the charity so close to JM Barrie’s heart and to which he left the rights to Peter Pan in perpetuity.
Martin says the idea came to him in a moment of madness while working on one of the flying scenes: “When we chose to adapt Peter Pan for Lakeside’s Christmas production, one key challenge was to create compelling, dynamic flying scenes. So in the spirit of reckless attention to detail, I agreed to do a skydive. What better way to discover how it feels to fly?!”
“To say that I am nervous would be something of an understatement. I have always sworn I would never do a skydive. But yet, here I am, in training and in at the deep end. Great Ormond Street is of course the most wonderful of causes and what I am doing is as nothing compared to what the children there have to go through. So, I will take my medicine, a big breath, and launch into the sky on my own terrifying but awfully big adventure. Please give generously!”
Lakeside staff, supporters and Neverland cast and crew are helping Martin to prepare for his big jump in a host of ingenious ways.
Martin has submitted to a “Quickfire Questions” style interview about Christmas, Neverland and his sponsored parachute jump. He’ll also be prepping for his big moment by gradually becoming accustomed to heights. Watch out for videos of Martin on the rooves of some iconic Nottingham buildings appearing soon on Lakeside’s website and social media channels.
The public are also invited to take part in the event. The names of all who have donated will be displayed on Lakeside’s website. There is also the opportunity to decide which Neverland character Martin should be dressed as when he jumps out of the plane. Vote for either Peter Pan or Tinkerbell either @LakesideArts on Twitter or via Lakeside’s Facebook page (Facebook.com/LakesideArts)