The curtain rose on Peter Pan to tremendous applause. Paul Hendy’s panto follows the classic story of Peter Pan and Wendy, interspersed with music, dance, juggling and comedy.
Within mere moments, I was wondering what on earth they’d done to Peter Pan. The entire show was like a small child’s dance recital, and Damian Williams’ Mrs. Smee made me wish someone would feed him (her?) to the crocodile. A particularly lovely moment was a very awkward scene change when, despite four actors being flown through the air, all I could concentrate on were the backstage crew struggling to move a set piece properly into the wings.
The show did have a few saving graces – Nigel Planer had several truly delightful moments as Captain Hook, and, as far as I’m concerned, Stan Gripton stole the stage as Michael Darling in several scenes, notably while encouraging the audience to act along with the story at the start of the show.
Not the most interesting show for adults, but I didn’t see a single kid in the audience who didn’t appear to be loving it. In the spirit of Christmas, you might want to hop in a taxi and take the kids over to the Lyceum to catch the show, if they’re still young enough to believe in fairies.