This is a curious departure for Little Wolf Entertainment. The company has a reputation for creating first-rate traditional pantos with scripts that are always fresh and funny.
It’s the first time in its history that the company has done Peter Pan. The show has been written for this huge arena space, so episodes such as the flying sequences work particularly well. But introducing a dame and giving just the barest of nods to JM Barrie’s source material results in a patchwork story where the various elements, while good individually, don’t really hang together.
Thomas Grant’s Peter Pan is in no danger whatsoever from Bill Ward’s comedy Hook, and the straight characters like Wendy – engagingly played by Rebecca Brierley – don’t get much chance to develop. There are some lovely facets to the production – Richard Brindley’s Quick Draw Macaw is a jolly creation, as is Abigail Finley’s wacky Marilyn the Mermaid. There’s slapstick and exuberant choreography.
But Morgan Brind, one of the best dames in the business, has to work harder in this particular space to get the audience eating out of his hand. While he gives his all and is very funny indeed, his performance is weirdly out of context.