Mayflower Theatre, Southampton – until 5 January 2020
Guest reviewer: Jo Gordon
The season is well and truly in the swing of things and this was my third one so far, but I’m yet to be fatigued of the thigh-slapping, glitter-filled, innuendo-giving panto. It’s always a full house for a panto at this venue, rows of guiding and scout groups, whole families, friends and work colleagues all coming together to enjoy this long time tradition. This years extravaganza is Peter Pan, the well-known story of the boy who never grows up and his adventures in Neverland.
It is the familiar plot of Peter and his friend Wendy coming together to fight against the evil Hook (Marti Pellow) who wants revenge on Peter (Jaymi Hemsley) for losing his hand to the crocodile. Along with Smee (Darren Day), Tinker Bell (Kellie Gnauk), Starkey and Mullins (The Grumbleweeds) there is much swashbuckling and scheming to overcome Hook’s plan.
It’s not all sword fights and rope swinging though, oh no it isn’t. We see Wendy (Cassie Compton) and Peter fly well above the London skyline into space followed by an intergalactic motorbike straddled by Smee, a rather grown up Tiger Lily (Micha Richardson) and her troupe of fire limbo-ing acrobats (the Timbuktu Tumblers), a galleon ship and the biggest crocodile ever to grace a stage that left the first few rows in the audience either in awe of its magnificence or terrified.
Inbetween the show tunes and main story we are entertained by Smee’s many impressions and skits along with the comedic duo Starkey and Mullins, definitely something to make all ages laugh amongst their antics from tongue-twisters to a cheeky passing on a skateboard.
With its colourful set, fast paced story and funny jokes it keeps the younger members of the audience transfixed and it was a delight to hear them chuckling and booing. With well known faces like Darren, Marti and the Grumbleweeds (who those of us of a certain age will remember) along with the rest of a talented cast it makes the perfect family trip to the theatre.
Fairydust and Marti Pellow …my perfect night!
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