Peter Pan, Hippodrome Birmingham, 5*****: Rod Dungate


Peter Pan


Birmingham Hippodrome

Runs: 2h 30m, one interval. Till 27 January 2019

Tickets: 0844 338 5000

Info and Tickets:

Review Rod Dungate 3 January 2019


Fast, furious, fusion

This Peter Pan is nothing like a Peter Pan you have ever seen. It is fast, dynamic, a wild roller-coaster of entertainment, and, above all gloriously anarchic and hilarious. Matt Slack excels, and, after 2h 30m you are still dying for more.

QDOS produces an impressive number of pantomimes and the Birmingham Hippodrome’s is the UK’s biggest. So QDOS set itself an intriguing problem – Peter Pan is not a pantomime, it’s a cherished straight play. QDOS has boldly gone where no-one has gone before. The company has seen the apparent contradiction not as restriction but as freedom. The result is a magnificent family entertainment. We have a story, we have pantomime best-bits (though no Dame), flying sequences, we have circus, gymnastics and plenty of sharp dancing. With great skill producer and director, Michael Harrison has woven all the exciting elements into a satisfying whole.

Matt Slack (a Birmingham favourite) leads the team as Smee. He is a master of physical and vocal humour; yet, however outrageous his moments, Slack sustains all with a naiveté and truth which endears him to children and adults alike. Comedian Meera Syal adds her own brand of humour as The Magic Mermaid.

Darren Day creates a sophisticated Captain Hook, rather more rascal than villain – but earns his boos and hisses. This villain is well integrated , by Day, into the comedy team which is immensely satisfying.

My very favourite moment is the repeating ‘business’ song about career prospects. But the lasting impression, is how, this year, every moment (funny, dangerous, or a thrill) is pushed as far as it can go, then, by this talented company, pushed just a bit more too.

This is fabulous entertainment.

(Full credits will follow.)

Note: Darren Day was making his debut performance as Captain Hook on 3 January. He had taken over at short notice from Jimmy Osmond who was taken ill during a performance the previous week, and is now in hospital. We all wish Jimmy a speedy and full recovery.


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