Peter Pan by J M Barrie, adapted by Alan McHugh. Starring Marti Pellow as Captain Hook, Darren Day as Smee and Cassie Compton playing Wendy to name but a few of the stars found in this years cast.
Take five minutes before the start of the production to look up at the ceiling as there are projected images of iconic places connected with the story of Peter Pan from the "spooky woods" "home underground" and "crocodile creek " to name but a few of the examples.
Day's performance in the role of Smee was absolutely brilliant from the moment he stepped onto the stage. He grabbed the attention of the audience by asking them to call out "Smee" each time he prompted them each time he returned to the stage. From his singing, impersonations and dancing all the way to the complicated tongue-twisting challenge. Day was fully immersed in his character throughout. He is a fantastic all-round entertainer who in my opinion, was the star of the show.
Costume designer Ron Briggs has certainly created some spectacular outfits for this festive spectacular treat. The costumes worn by Tigerlily (Micha Richardson) and The Neverlanders ( the Timbuktu Tumblers) were animal prints designed to camouflage into the scenery which was incredibly striking. The encore costumes worn by the entire cast of white and blue designs were breathtaking.
The acrobatics in those scenes were superb and you could sense the audience hold their breath when one acrobat did a limbo dance under one of the very low poles which were on fire. I could have happily watched more of their captivating routines.
Watch out for the crocodile if you are sitting in the stalls. The moving mechanical beast is impressive and as it lurches out above the stage it is no surprise that Captain Hook is afraid of it.
The ensemble of children from Lindsay Read school of dance was professional throughout the show and it wasn't any surprise why they had been chosen to perform in Peter Pan. Living in an era where children are used to seeing so many graphics and computerized productions, this creation of Peter Pan offers them a wide variety of different scenery, larger-than-life characters and a wide variety of performers. There certainly isn't a dull moment throughout the entire show.
Original music and songs by Marti Pellow and Grant Mitchell comprised io f many up to date musical numbers that children could easily recognize and join in with should they wish. As a family production, it's important to get a good ratio of songs mixed in for everybody to enjoy and they have definitely achieved that. Director and Choreographer Andrew Wright have bought together a very strong cast with high-quality and high tech pantomime for this seasons entertainment without losing the ethos behind the traditional pantomime genre.