“Second star to the right and straight on ’til morning!” – Peter Pan.
I don’t care how cheesy some people think panto is. You just can’t resist the look on your kid’s faces in the theatre at Christmas. It’s the perfect introduction to the magic of live shows. So much fun for even the smallest children who are free to call out and get really involved in the action.
“Stars are beautiful. But they may not take part in anything. They must just look on forever”
We’ve been taking the kids to the pantomime in Worthing for several years as it’s so much easier than struggling in to Brighton and trying to park. The Pavilion Theatre is a lovely historic building directly in front of Worthing Pier which always looks magical, especially at Christmas. A brisk winter walk along the pretty seafront looking at all the lights and getting excited on the way to the theatre has become a little family tradition.
Peter Pan is one of my favourite childhood stories and dproducer Paul Holman brings the Edwardian story of the boy who never grew up to life delightfully.
“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease for ever to be able to do it”
With an eleven year old who is growing up faster than I could have ever imagined, I wondered if the pantomime would still excite her as it had in the past.
The show was brilliant and modern hits from Katy Perry and Ellie Goulding, sung beautifully pop star Amelia Lily (X Factor and American Idiot), were the perfect addition for any tween girls in the audience.
Peter Pan is played by another X Factor star. Lloyd Daniels spends most of his time flying though the air – ‘on strings’ according to my youngest, who had to keep pointing them out.
“All the world is made of faith, and trust, and pixie dust”
The star of the show for me had to be Captain Hook. Comedian Patrick Monahan plays the pirate in a style crossed between Jack Sparrow and Bernard Manning. He’s absolutely hilarious and has the rest of the cast in stitches for most of the show. And every girl loves a handsome baddie!
Comedy features hugely in this show, and unlike many pantomimes about princesses, Peter Pan has hero’s and heroines.
The kids laughed and joined in with the show and even with some pretty heavy heckling from one rowdy kid sat right behind us, the actors held it together. I was rather surprised at such a young boy who delighted in screaming ‘I don’t believe in fairies’ at the top of his voice. He seemed to be getting a little ‘too’ into the show and enjoying the audience participation, and finally he mum intervened when he stood up and shouted ‘screw you!’ and ‘I want a refund!’ My girls thought his outbursts were hilarious. It was a sign of professionalism that panto veteran Simon Howe (playing Dame Able Mable) rolled with the flow.
Dame Able Mabel and her dumplings partner with friendly ship mate Smee in some wonderful slap stick moments of chaos. By far the kids favourite thing was watching TV star Richard McCourt as pirate Smee. Better known as the handsome half of Dick & Dom, he bumbles around in comedy genius. Managing a ridiculous number of pirate jokes in 1 minute then getting romantic with some bread dough before passionately turning the oven on – literally! He’s very silly.
I was shocked to flick through the programme and discover the Dick & Dom duo have been entertaining kids for 20 years. How old do I feel?
*Lesson for anyone booking tickets – avoid sitting in the front row, unless you want to be humiliated and made to scream bogie and the audience.
My youngest daughter is still trying to work out how the actors made the swift costume changes and now wants to start stage school. The special effects brought a digital Tinkerbell to some wonderful scenery and great cast including young future stars from Glendale Theatre Arts School.
With a perfect balance of magic and comedy, Peter Pan at Worthing Pavilion Theatre delights young and old. An enchanting adaptation of J M Barrie’s timeless classic with a modern twist of sparkly fairy dust.
For tickets to The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan visit worthingtheatres.co.uk
Can’t wait for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in 2017!
“Never say goodbye. Because goodbye means going away, and going away means forgetting”