Pantomime Review: Peter Pan - Richmond Theatre ✭✭✭

Peter Pan
Jeremy Legat as Peter Pan
Richmond Theatre

Peter Pan has always been an odd one for me - yes, I know it's a classic story about the lost boys and the boy who never grows up and pirates etc etc. But it's not a classic panto by any means, and with this production at Richmond Theatre, as hard as they try to get audience interaction and lots of sparkle in to the set, it's lacking that magical charm of a classic Cinderella or Aladdin.

Richmond Theatre is well known for pulling out big budget pantos every year, and this one is no exception, with lots of flying from Peter Pan and Tinkerbell (who is constantly flown throughout). Add in some fire, dancing, comedy and huge confetti cannons and you should be set for a wonderful comedy filled panto. It doesn't appear so on this occasion.

Henry Winkler as Captain Hook
The show seems slow, Peter Pan relies on storyline too much, there is no real escapism to go off the script and add a slapstick scene, or a UV scene, or a slosh truck, or any other panto scene come to think of it. The cast of Peter Pan are doing a good job with what they are given, but it's lacking originality, no original music to get you singing along to. Instead we have cover-versions-a-plenty from Madness to Katy Perry to Tina Turner! Yes, like all other ATG/FFE pantos this year, they are all ending with 'Proud Mary' for the final sing-a-dance-along!

The big name star in this production is Henry Winkler (The Fonz from Happy Days) as Captain Hook. You can tell it's a role he has done before, Henry effortlessly reels of his lines and takes his stage direction well, but again there's no real magic or sparkle in the role. Dermot Canavan's Smee brings a touch of easy comedy to proceedings, but his part is let down when it comes to interaction with children from the audience later on.

Unfortunately for me, this production of Peter Pan never really gets off the ground, it is average at best which is a shame really, as Richmond have done some fine pantomimes indeed in previous years - let's hope they return next year with a better offering.

Three stars ✭✭✭

Peter Pan runs at Richmond Theatre until 12th January