Reviewed by Rebecca Wong
I hold my hands up; I’m a massive panto fan and drag my children along at least twice a year to join me cheer and boo at my favourite characters. So when I had the opportunity to visit St. Helens Theatre Royal for their Christmas panto, I could not resist! St. Helens know how to put on a panto that engages all audiences and has us laughing and jeering throughout the show.
This year’s show is Peter Pan. A wonderful fairy tale that has everything a good panto needs; lots of children, a fairy and an evil villain. The story follows Peter Pan (the talented Lewis Devine), the boy who never grew up, who took the adorable Wendy (Georgina Parkinson) and her brothers away to his world of Neverland, much to the annoyance of Tinkerbell played by Kristina Rihanoff of Strictly Come Dancing fame. Look out for those amazing dance moves! However, Peter’s arch enemy Hook played by the dishy Louis Emerick (think either Brookie or Corrie depending on your age), was hatching plans to capture Peter who had slipped through his fingers (ahem) time and again. With the help of his hilarious side-kick Mrs Smee (Si Foster) Hook will stop at nothing to succeed.
The plot takes some twists and turns along the way… will Hook ever capture Peter? Will Wendy and her brothers ever get home? Will Tinkerbell’s jealously cause problems for Peter? Will Mrs Smee ever find true love? Finding out the answers to these questions will be a great couple of hours well spent with the family this Christmas.
St. Helens had a further treat in store for us as we were handed 3D glasses in the interval. The children absolutely loved the 3D visuals and everyone was reacting and jumping around in their seats as we dodged the giant sea creatures that were jumping out of the screen at us.
This is a panto not to be missed. With jokes and references that are tuned in to both adults and children. The cast make you feel like you are very much a part of the show. I have never seen my children so mesmerised and they were re-enacting their favourite scenes all evening afterwards.
For me Christmas isn’t Christmas until you’ve been to a panto and this is the one to go to, it has everything and so much more. Well done St. Helens and thank you for a wonderful fun afternoon it’s a 5/5 from me!
Tickets cost from £11 (booking fees may apply).
Peter Pan is at St. Helens Theatre Royal from 8 December 2018 to 13 January 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com or call the box office on 01744 756000.
St. Helens Theatre Royal, Corporation Street, St.Helens, Merseyside, WA10 1LQ