A celebrity name does not a good pantomime make, unless Bradley Walsh is on top of the bill, and then it might just be a sure thing.
As Smee, babysitter turned incompetent first mate on Captain Hook’s ship Jolly Roger, Walsh has the audience engaged from the word go, continually breaking the fourth wall and ad-libbing to his heart’s content.
However, none of this would work without an excellent cast around him, who gladly play along while still managing to deliver Eric Potts’ fun-filled script in Cal McCrystal’s silly yet sophisticated production.
If the presence of the ever-talented David Bedella as dastardly Hook – taunting the booing youngsters with the line “don’t you just love me?” – doesn’t win the day, there is always the inspired casting of street-dance sensation Flawless as the Pirate Crew.
Cleverly, the group made famous by Britain’s Got Talent gets to join in with the dialogue Paul ‘Steady’ Steadman is a bit of a natural as well as wowing the crowd with its dance moves.
Special mention should also go to Francesca Mills as a tough-talking but loveable Tinker Bell, and George Ure and Victoria Tyrrell in the central roles of Peter Pan and Wendy.
Verdict: With Bradley Walsh at the helm, pantomime doesn’t get much better than this
- Milton Keynes Theatre
- December 5-January 11, PN December 9
- Author: JM Barrie, Eric Potts adaptation, Bradley Walsh additional material
- Director: Cal McCrystal
- Design: Woodroffe Bassett lighting, Orbital Sound Ltd sound
- Musical director: Barry Robinson
- Choreographers: Sarah Dean, Flawless
- Technical: Steve Power musical supervisor, Karl Magee fight director, Jonathan Oliver stage manager, Sarah Stoddard wardrobe mistress, Lee Stephenson and Paul Gurney flying supervisors
- Cast includes: Bradley Walsh, David Bedella, Flawless, George Ure, Victoria Tyrrell, Francesca Mills
- Producer: First Family Entertainment
- Running time: 2hrs