Interviews

Leads of 'Peter Pan: The Never Ending Story' in real-life romance

By Ang Jia YunEvents - 27 November 2014 12:40 PM

Leads of 'Peter Pan: The Never Ending Story' in real-life romance

If it were any other day in the theatrical world of Neverland, Peter Pan would have planted a goodbye kiss on Wendy Darling's lips with a stirring promise to return every spring, before flying home to the Lost Boys.

But one fine January evening in Glasgow during a musical performance of ‘Peter Pan: The Never Ending Story’, Peter and Wendy divorced themselves from their roles and returned to being Sandor Sturbl and Lilly-Jane Young, a man and woman who are in love with each other.


Actor Sandor Sturbl kneeling to propose to co-star Lilly-Jane Young at a performance in Glasgow, Scotland. (Photo: Facebook) 

Sturbl got down on one knee and popped the question to “the love of his life” before a packed venue, with Young’s family among the audience at The SSE Hydro in Glasgow, Scotland earlier this year.

Young recalled: “My heart and my brain started going a million miles an hour. I was really proud of him, because for a man to ask a woman to marry him in front of 6,000 people takes a lot of guts. Of course, it wasn’t even a question – I’d say yes.”

The pair tied the knot this November – just a week short of their opening show at Resorts World Sentosa. “(We) hope the arena is a nice (place for a) honeymoon,” Sturbl joked. The 29-year-old Dutchman also works as a voice teacher and music composer for primary school children.

After touring more than 10 European cities, ‘Peter Pan: The Never Ending Story’ makes its Asian premiere in Singapore on 27 November and will play through to 20 January 2015.


Troop of professional acrobats and their daring feats (Photo: Leslie Artamonow) 

Led by musical director Matt Dunkley, who has worked on films such as 'Moulin Rouge', 'Pirates of the Caribbean' and 'Inception', and choreographed by Martino Muller, who was involved in classics such as 'Romeo and Juliet' and 'Notre Dame de Paris', this musical features chart-topping hits from the likes of Robbie Williams, Josh Groban and many more.

MORE: The show must go on - Robbie Williams at Singapore GP


The theatre at Resorts World Sentosa allows for a more intimate setting compared to the larger arenas where the production has played (Photo: Leslie Artamonow) 

Sturbl and Young both share a common interest in musical theatre, and the two leads sought an education in that before starring in other productions. It had been Young's “lifelong dream” to play Wendy. The 23-year-old blonde was especially influenced by her grandfather, who brought her imagination to life by role-playing JM Barrie’s classic tale with her when she was a wide-eyed child.

“(My grandfather) still believes that he’s the real Peter Pan. He’s not accepting Sandor as Peter quite yet. I think if he wasn’t so old, he would want to audition himself to be in this show,” Young said with a chuckle. 

“Serious competition,” Sturbl chimed in.


The cast of 'Peter Pan: The Never Ending Story' had to undergo "flying" training to "balance muscles in a right way to make it look good", actor Sandor Sturbl explained (Photo courtesy: Luk Monsaert) 

After spending three years in each other’s company, and "flying' around the world, one thing led to another and the two actors are now head-over-heels in love.

Although there is worry that their relationship might affect their onstage personas, the couple are confident that they will manage. Sturbl added that having a significant other on set is a “big advantage”, because “you don’t have to leave your loved one behind” while travelling from country to country.


Prepare for an intense showdown between Peter Pan (Sandor Sturbl) and Captain Hook (Wim Van Den Driessche) during the show's finale (Photo: Leslie Artamonow)

The two said the show has given them room to grow in their professions, in particular the physical aspect of it with the high-flying action stunts and thrilling swordplay.

Sturbl said: “I never thought that I’d fly in a musical, because that’s not what we learnt in the school of performing arts, so I definitely learnt new techniques, and also the technique to show your talent to a huge audience.”


The combination of Sturbl's and Young's talents make for "pure magic", said show producer Geert Allaert (Photo courtesy of Luk Monsaert)

His new wife is also grateful for this dream-like adventure. “The whole slogan of the story is ‘never grow up’, but I feel like I did the opposite while doing the show,” Young admitted.

“When I first started, I was 20 years old; I felt so scared of this big role and what was ahead of me. Now, I feel really confident and settled, and ready to move into the rest of my career and into my marriage.”

'Peter Pan: The Never Ending Story' | Dates: 27 November 2014 – 20 January 2015 | Venue: Resorts World Theatre, Resorts World Srentosa, 8 Sentosa Gateway | Tickets: $58-$168 from Resorts World Sentosa

Peter Pan, The Never Ending Story

Peter Pan, The Never Ending Story

Date Nov 27, 2014 - Jan 20, 2015

VenueResorts World Theatre

Ticket PriceS$58.00 - S$168.00
 (excludes booking fee)