This Qdos production of Peter Pan manages to intertwine all the elements of modern pantomime with a surprisingly dramatic and colourful telling of JM Barrie’s classic story.
From the moment Peter (Joshua Wyatt) flies in to join a fiery, roller-skating Tinker Bell (Danielle Lockwood), it’s clear this is a classy affair. That perception is born out still further with the arrival of a truly charismatic, menacing Captain Hook, brilliantly played by Stefan Pejic. It’s a standout performance and the highlight of the night.
In his role as Big Chief Cheeky Chico, one-time The X Factor chart-topper Chico proves to be a formidable dancer as well as singer, while Malcolm Lord’s Mrs Smee, sporting an enormous false bosom, gets lots of laughs. Singer and multi-instrumentalist Andy Eastwood delights as a musical Starkey. Thomas Spratt’s choreography is a joy, and the whole thing is handsomely designed.
Cannon and Ball are on top form. They can still do the business and the audience loves them. But, wisely, director David Fleeshman reins them in so that their silly antics don’t overshadow the storytelling. All in all, this makes for a pantomime that’s both dramatically satisfying and uplifting.