ACCORDING to J M Barrie, who wrote the classic story Peter Pan, the directions to Neverland are: ‘second to the right, and straight on ‘till morning’. This Christmas you can enjoy the spectacle of the boy who never grew up and Neverland at the Floral Pavilion’s wonderful panto.
J M Barrie gave the rights to ‘Peter Pan’ to the Hospital for Sick Children at Great Ormond Street. It is the gift that keeps on giving.
Martin Dodd, Producer for UK Productions Panto, the Creative team, Production team, orchestra and performers have created something special. The scene changes are beautifully achieved, especially when you consider small flying people in the mix. It is such a treat to see children singing, dancing and acting their socks off. The Choreographer Lee Lomas has weaved an intricate, magical display of talent.
Tim Edwards is outstanding as Peter Pan. He has appeared in English National Opera and in ‘The Book of Mormon’ at the Prince of Wales Theatre, and has been an understudy in Peter Pan before this production. He shines: he has a presence and conveys a real essence of the boy who never grew up. Emma-Katie Adcock is perfectly cast as Tinker Bell. She is full of mischief, and manages to perform impressively on roller skates, whilst singing and acting beautifully.
We were transported from the Darlings’ Edwardian home, complete with Nana the family’s much loved dog, to adventures in Never Land. It all feels quite magical and obviously captivated the children in the audience; though I suspect the adults enjoyed it just as much. Sarah-Louise Young was memorable as Mrs Darling and the Mermaid. She has an impressive singing voice. Nicola Barney interprets Wendy’s character to great effect and makes a real impact.
Marc Baylis has escaped from ‘Coronation Street’ to play Captain Hook/Mr Darling. He has performed in ‘Hamlet’ at the Barbican and in ‘The Tempest’ on a UK tour. He managed to fire up the children in the audience with his skilful, dastardly performance at Captain Hook. He is very much the villain that you love to hate. His partner in crime is Dan Wright as Smee. They involve the audience to great effect. The stage craft is impressive. The acrobats entertain and make the almost impossible look like slap-stick fun. The child performers almost steal the show.
All credit to the Director, Andrew Margerison, who makes it all look seamless.
See it if you can. My favourite panto experience so far.
Peter Pan is on until 7 January 2018
Tel: 0151 666 0000