CARDS on the table – I am a Peter Pan purist – the JM Barrie classic children’s tale has held me captive for many generations.
In fact it only came out of copyright in 2007 and in the USA it still remains unalterable.
Having said that, from the whoops of delight from the packed audience, Jon Monie has done a pretty good job of writing a traditional pantomime spin off.
Time has moved on from when Wendy Darling first went to Neverland – now it is her great granddaughter Emily. Peter Pan never ages of course, nor it seems does his old adversary Captain Hook.
Director Simon Grieff has created exactly what’s expected for a festive theatre visit – entertainment!
There is much to laugh at, join in with and enjoy. His hard-working company are indeed a sparkling bunch and there’s never a dull moment midst the magic and the mayhem.
Lloyd Warbey has the right blend of innocence and arrogance as Peter and Tom Lister plays Hook as a deliciously engaging, over-the-top opponent.
Rebecca Stenhouse makes a delightfully mischievous Tinker Bell with her Scottish lilt adding a whole new dimension of mirth to the wee sprite.
Jenny Huxley-Golden is enchanting as Emily Darling whilst Natalie Hollingworth brings elegance as great grand mum Wendy and doubling as a sexy mermaid with a great set of tonsils.
Malvern pantomime regular Mark James plays Mr Smee and generally keeps everyone in party mood from top to tail.
There is a cavalcade of colorful costumery gracing a kaleidoscope of glorious settings – all happening within a splendid Victorian proscenium arch.
Musical Director Tom Self makes his trio sound like an orchestra and Cameron MacDonald provides choreography that is energetic and slick.
There are great songs, generous performances, spectacle and sparkle – all set in the Malvern Theatre that is a natural home for pantomime.
It’s good to have panto back, it’s good to see such joyous family fare and it’s just great to feel the warmth between company and audience.
Peter Pan at Malvern Theatres runs until January 2. Click here for times, tickets and more information.