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Peter Pan

Published Monday 10 December 2012 at 12:20 by Pat Ashworth

The creative team has gone a long way to solving the difficulties of staging panto at the Derby Assembly Rooms, a venue that doesn’t lend itself to live theatre. Video projections on to rippling gauze soften the large and uncompromising stage area and create a magical sense of journeying above the rooftops of London or through the lagoons of Neverland.

So does George Sampson as Peter Pan. He flies a long way out into the auditorium, soaring high above the audience’s heads, and it’s a really enchanting sight. The show is a vehicle for his acrobatics and breakdancing and because his body moves in these extraordinary, impossible ways, he seems insubstantial and otherworldly - perfectly Pan.

A few liberties have been taken with the story, notably the introduction of a dame in the shape of Jason Sutton’s Able Mabel. And the crocodile is a cuddly beast who wouldn’t harm a flea. But Larry Lamb, a magnificently swashbuckling Captain Hook, plays it straight and holds the show and the company together, while Mike McLean’s in-yer-face Smee brings the house down. Just when you think it’s all over, he produces a ventriloquism act with the children who come up on stage that almost steals the show.

Production information

Assembly Rooms, Derby , December 5-January 6

JM Barrie, adapted by Lee Waddington
Keith and Ben Simmons
Derby LIVE, Paul Holman Associates
Cast includes:
Larry Lamb, George Sampson, Mike McLean, Jason Sutton, Carys Gray, Sarah Thatcher
Running time:
2hrs 30mins

Production information displayed was believed correct at time of review. Information may change over the run of the show.

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Run sheet

King's Head, Islington London
January 24-February 15 2014