Writer: Simon Foster
Director: Chantelle Nolan
Reviewer: John Roberts
The Pantomime’s at St Helens Theatre Royal have consistently delivered slick and very enjoyable productions over the past few years and this year’s return of Peter Panis no different. While it doesn’t scale to the same heights as Aladdin a few years ago, it still soars and sends the audience out into the chill of winter with smiles on their faces and a glow in their heart.
Director Chantelle Nolan alongside Simon Foster (Writer and Mrs Smee) have delivered a fast-paced production (just over 2hrs), which whizzes through the traditional story but still manages to keep the traditional elements of pantomime firmly at the centre, something which is usually lost in the adaption of Peter Pan into a panto. It must be said that the second half is far stronger than the first and this is without a doubt down to the brilliant Simon Foster who this reviewer has said many times is one of the regions if not the countries best Dames – he has the audience eating out of the palm of his hands. It’s a shame that here, he is not used enough.
As the titular hero, Lewis Devine’s Peter certainly has the egotistical edge and is certainly a favourite with the younger members of the audience, similarly Strictly Come Dancing’s Kristina Rihanoff gives her all as the mischievous Tinkerbell, however, both Devine and Rihanoff certainly struggle at times with their diction which means certain moments are lost.
As the villainous Captain James Hook, Liverpool’s own Louis Emerick delights in dishing out the insults and certainly looks the part in a spectacular jewelled costume, and strong support is given from Georgina Parkinson as Wendy and Abigail Middleton as Tiger Lilly. On the performance we reviewed the Blue Team made an engaging group of Lost Boys with Charlie Wakerfield (Tootles) and Sean O’Connor (Nibbs) standing out from the crowd.
With a stunning set design and strong lighting, this production of Peter Panis certainly a delight to look at especially with the excellent projections which fly us over and through the streets of London. Nazene Langfield’s engaging choreography ensures ensemble numbers are strong and polished.
Peter Panis a fun-filled production which certainly doesn’t outstay its welcome and once again proves the venue is one of the best producers of pantomime in the region.
Runs until 13 January 2019 | Image: David Munn