There are several big names making their debut in Qdos Entertainment pantomimes this year, but none has quite the acting chops of Robert Lindsay. As comfortable in a contemporary drama as he is in a sitcom, with several major musical theatre credits to his name, now he turns his hand to panto.
Lindsay plays Hook in director Jonathan Kiley’s family-friendly Peter Pan. What it may lack in special effects – there’s woefully little flying time – it makes up for with engaging performances and energetic choreography. It’s a show brimming with goodwill in which the darker elements of the original story have been glossed.
Harry Francis makes a dynamic Peter, supported by an endearing team of all-singing, all-dancing Lost Children from Babette Langford’s The Young Set. Jon Clegg’s Smee delivers some genuinely amusing comedy for the kids including the impressions that got him noticed on the Britain’s Got Talent in 2014.
Undoubtedly the biggest surprise though is Lindsay, whose sneering, conceited, relatively low-energy Hook is an ingenious cross between Jack Sparrow and Steven Toast. Kids enthusiastically boo his villainy and his sprightly musical numbers add a welcome dose of West End showmanship.