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Peter Pan review at Theatre Royal Nottingham

Panto really doesn’t come any better than this superb offering from the Theatre Royal, and I applaud the management and city council for commissioning a brand new adaptation.

The script and direction come from Nicholas Pegg, whose home town this is. He’s entirely faithful to Barrie’s story, but everything about the show is fresh and sparkling, with a feel-good factor that comes from lashings of colour, warmth and energy.

Musical numbers, typified by Dream a Little Dream With Me, have a jazz tempo. The flying sequences and settings are magic, there are classic sword fights, and a laser Tinkerbell fragments into scatterings of light and sound. The Acroloons provide breathtaking gymnastics and tumbling in slapstick form, and Paul Gabriel (Smee), Stuart Crossman (Starkey) and Richard Earl (Jukes) are the daftest trio on earth.

The show is written for this particular cast, which gives the dialogue naturalness and fluency. So John Challis’ splendid Hook gets lines that really suit him – “Great Scott, I’ve got a hot bot!” he exclaims as he sits on the Lost Boys’ chimney. Debra Stephenson is a jaunty Pan and Alison Thea-Skot’s Mrs Darling is as credible as a character from E Nesbit. Such a good night.

Production Information

Theatre Royal, Nottingham, December 7-January 20

J M Barrie, adapted by Nicholas Pegg
Nicholas Pegg
Theatre Royal Nottingham, Nottingham City Council
Cast includes
John Challis, Debra Stephens, Paul Gabriel, Alison Thea-Skot
Running time
2hrs 30mins

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