J M Barrie might ponder where the story had gone in this, a cheery nod to the adventures of Peter Pan. Whether it’s intentional or not, it’s almost a send-up at times, so that Tinker Bell’s dying becomes a moment of mirth before the children have to shout their belief in fairies, and Peter’s asking Wendy to be his mother prompts ad-libs about weirdness.
Much of it is down to Joe Pasquale’s provocation of his fellow actors, whom he constantly and mischievously tries to throw off course. He’s provided additional material – lots of extended gags – and this is really his show. But in the absence of Darling parents, Peter’s angst, the Lost Boys and the rest, there’s a very light grip on continuity and a marked absence of light and shade.
Delivered at full throttle, no expense has been spared to make it a lavish show, though, with some truly scary and spectacular 3D and a fearsomely imagined giant crocodile that rears right out into the auditorium. Jack McNeill is a lively Peter, John Challis a theatrical Hook and Lucy Evans a stroppy Tinker Bell. Paul Gabriel is properly piratical as Starkey and there’s whirlwind dancing from a fine ensemble.