Meet the Peter Pan cast - Wendy

Sally Ann Staunton, who plays Wendy in Peter Pan, talks childhood memories, christmas traditions and spearmint polos...

Peter Pan is a classic story that has been around for years – does the story and its themes conjure up any childhood memories for you?

Peter Pan conjures up the childhood memories of playing out with my brother who never wanted me to be on his team and the kids on our street. We were lucky enough to be brought up in Cumbria where we had fields to play in, dens to make and cricket to play on the street - where you would get most points if you hit Derek's window. Poor Derek, it was only a tennis ball mind!

What do you want audiences, of all ages, to take away from the production of Peter Pan? What are the main messages and themes in the story for you?

I want the audience to take away the sense of play, adults particularly, as life is so very serious. We need to remember how incredible a child's imagination is and I fear the modern world is relying more on more on technology to conjure worlds up for them. I see so many kids playing on their phones and IPads now - not imagining islands, crocodiles on the floor and pirates to run away from.   

What does the word ‘family’ mean to you?

Family to me means unconditional love and support no matter what. Being an actor means I left Cumbria at 18 and being a home bird it was incredibly hard for me and still is. But with their love and support I know they are always there for me. I appreciate and know how incredibly lucky I am to have a close knit family. Also my brother's beautiful partner had a little girl just before we started rehearsals and to see him become a father and my parents become grandparents has been an incredibly proud experience. 

In line with one of the main themes and sentiments in the story, can you describe what you believe ‘brings out the child in you’?

Children bring out the child in me, there is nothing I love more than laughing and I find perhaps because I look young they immediately want to play. I have kids knocking on my door asking my partner if I am playing out yet, I don’t think they realise I am not their age!

A Christmas show is quite often the first time a someone will see a production at the theatre; can you remember your first ever experience?

My first ever experience of a live show was seeing the ballet with my Gran, we went to our local theatre in Barrow-in-Furness and I was blown away by the beauty of it all, and spearmint polos! My Gran had bought them by mistake when we went in and we were both crunching them thinking these don’t taste like normal polos. 

Do you have any Christmas traditions that you do with family or friends?

Every year we go down to my Nanna’s on Christmas morning and all the kids, grandkids and now great grandkids all meet up and exchange presents - without my Nanna I don’t know what we will do, she’s a legend!