Reviewed by Tricia Shaw
This year’s fun-filled panto at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre is Peter Pan and we were lucky enough to see it last night. Based on the book by J.M. Barrie the story follows Wendy and her brothers John and Michael as they meet Peter Pan and Tinker Bell and fly with them to Neverland. Once there they have adventures with the lost boys, the Indians and mermaids all against their common nemesis Captain Hook.
From start to finish it is non-stop family entertainment. La Voix, playing Mrs Smee amongst other roles, is the perfect choice for panto alongside Andy Collins who is back again this year as the loveable idiot Smee. They are a perfect combination; a joy to watch, they had us all in fits of laughter throughout. Particularly with their special rendition of the “12 days of Christmas” but watch out for the 12th day; it’s definitely the wettest of the season!
Captain Hook is played by John Michie, perhaps better known for his more recent appearances in Holby City and Coronation Street, I will always remember him from Taggart. His interpretation of his role is fantastic and the audience were happy to boo him right from the beginning. Peter Pan, played by Jessica Punch, reminded me more of CBeebies’ Tree Fu Tom as he entertained us with his flying and mid-air acrobatics. Natalie Hollingworth as Tiger Lily stood out with her strong singing and I hope to see her again in future productions.
There are some fantastic performances from the village children and the lost boys and of course the dancers. Keep an eye out for that ticking crocodile and Nana the dog – such a gorgeous animal! When not playing Nana, Andy Rothwell plays one of the Prate Crew ‘Nitwits’. They have just the right combination of acrobatics and slapstick and we thoroughly enjoyed all their antics.
The live orchestra plays throughout the show which is full of well-known songs. There are some great jokes although some are really cringe-worthy. Nonetheless for me audience participation is a must for panto; this year I was not disappointed with all the usual “He’s behind you!”, “Oh yes he is!”, clapping and singing along, booing etc. it was great!
With bright and colourful costumes and scenery, plenty of singing and dancing, and an easy to follow plot this year’s panto at Aylesbury is a must. It runs until 31st December so if you haven’t got your tickets yet book them now!
Tickets cost from £11.75 to £38 (plus £3.65 transaction fee).
Peter Pan is at the Aylesbury Waterside Theatre from 7-31 December 2018, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury or call the box office on 0844 871 7607.
Waterside Theatre, Exchange Street, Aylesbury, Bucks, HP20 1UG | 0844 871 7607