PETER PAN: Palace Theatre, Mansfield till 2nd January



Palace Theatre: Tkts 01623 633133
Runs: 2h 30m: one interval: till 2nd Jan.
Review: Alan Geary: 2nd December 2010.

Wind, rain or shine, flock to see this one.
It was the spirit of the blitz all over again for this matinee at Mansfield’s Palace Theatre. But it was a whole lot more fun than being stuck in an air-raid shelter.

Adverse weather conditions, school cancellations, etc, meant that the audience was a small and, as it happened, highly select one. But it saw the Mansfield pantomime at its best.

Peter Pan isn’t a straight-down-the-line panto with a Dame. It’s rather an Edwardian Christmas play with, to modern sensibilities, a dark underside; and it’s got more centres of interest than your usual pantomime.

Right from the start you could tell this production was going to be strong on song and dance. The delightful Tinker Bell, on roller skates, was followed by a cracking London street scene complete with cartwheels and some superb costumes – costumes throughout were outstanding.

Later on there was some equally smart stuff, particularly from Peter and Wendy (Joanna Forest, incidentally a very good actor) and from the Pirate Crew, “The Nitwits”. They also gave us two brilliant acrobatic routines, including one with Smee.

Peter was played by Jessica Punch with terrific verve and presence. Andy Day, who also doubled up as a grocer – he told us he was selling his wares on Smeebay – was a toothily friendly and funny Smee.

As the camply evil and smarmy man with the hook, Jack Ellis (he was also Mr Darling) was splendid. He had some of the best bad lines, including “O, you’re in bed Pan” and, when he captured Tiger Lily (Amana Jones), that same Indian take-away gag as five years back. He said he didn’t like nice children but must have been having us on because he got on well with Evie in the audience, whose fourth birthday it was.

Tiger Lily, one of the non-PC and leggy Indian band – their war-dance was a highlight – was an especially good singer. So were Carrie Ellis (Mrs Darling/Mermaid) and Lucy Johnson (Tinker Bell).

Wind, rain or shine, flock to see this one.

Captain Hook/Mr Darling: Jack Ellis.
Smee: Andy Day.
Peter Pan: Jessica Punch.
Mrs Darling/Mermaid: Carrie Ellis.
Wendy: Joanna Forest.
Tinker Bell: Lucy Johnson.
Tiger Lily: Amana Jones.
Pirate Crew “Nitwits”: Dan Liddiard, James Parker, Ben Smith.
John: Daniel Stubbs/Joshua Crowther.
Michael: Edward Turner/Isaac Fillingham.
Nana the Dog: Leanne Carr.

Lost Boys and Children from: Directions Theatre Arts, Sarah Adamson School of Dancing, Academy of Dance, Expressions Performing Arts

Director: Terry Morrison.
Choreographer: Natalie Cleverley.
Musical Director: Martyn St James.
Written by: Andrew Ryan.
Sound Designer: Kirk Jackson.
Lighting Designer: Dai Evans.

2010-12-08 17:46:59

ReviewsGate Copyright Protection