Reviewed by Louise Watts
All across England, families are heading off to the theatre for panto season. In the South East this year, Peter Pan seems to be more popular than ever with several theatres having chosen this as their story.
Christmas is a special time of year and Pantomime is a special kind of production. Whichever pantomime you see, there will be similar themes. Sayings like “It’s behind you”, “Oh no you don’t”. Silly songs, even sillier jokes and amazing ad libs and improvisation. This is what makes excellent audience satisfaction. Go and see a pantomime in Brighton and in true Brighton fashion, you will get all of the above plus more!
Last evening, I attended the opening night of Peter Pan at the Hilton Metropole Hotel in Brighton. The venue was fantastic, small and intimate with tiered seating for easy viewing. As you entered the bar area, there were little festive stalls selling hot drinks and snacks. The pantomime sponsors a local charity and this year it was “Chailey Heritage” which provide care to severely disabled children. The bar area was well staffed and all of the staff were welcoming and friendly.
We took our seats and awaited the start of the show. The atmosphere was amazing, and the audience were excited. As soon as the show started, I knew we were not going to be disappointed. The actors were all incredible and you could tell they were thoroughly enjoying themselves. It had everything that makes a good pantomime – laughter, jokes, silly songs, improvisation. There really was nothing that could be improved. I would go as far as to say it had an extra something that I have not seen in a pantomime for a long time!
Nathan Charman played Captain Hook to perfection. I had seen another production of Peter Pan this week at a much bigger theatre with bigger names, but in all honesty, Nathan was far better as Captain Hook then the other (big name) actor had been. He had everything you want in a villain and more. Allison Ferns played Delores the Mermaid who you simply could not help falling in love with. The interaction between her and Hook on stage was electric and I particularly enjoyed their performance with Smee (Richard Dawes).
Smee was incredible – I have not laughed so much in ages! His interaction with poor Lindsay in the audience was simply magical! He was loveable, cheeky, funny and very handsome! I could talk about each and every cast member and how fantastic they all were, but I have chosen just a few. Everybody in the cast should be extremely proud of themselves and please keep it up guys, you were all fabulous!
With the addition of a few local children and some audience participation, a masterpiece was delivered last evening. It proved to me that you do not need an endless budget and an A class celebrity cast in order to produce an exceptional show and provide incredible value for money and audience pleasure!!
The set was simple but perfect, the live band were amazing and the lighting and special effects pyrotechnics were genius.
If you are looking for a fun evening at the pantomime, then look no further than Brighton Seafront and get down to the Metropole and see this incredible performance before it is too late!!
Tickets cost from £19.99 (booking fees may apply).
Peter Pan is at the Hilton Brighton Metropole from 19-29 December 2019, for more information or to book tickets visit brightonfamilypanto.com.
Hilton Brighton Metropole, King’s Road, Brighton, BN1 2FU