Peter Pan (review)
Panto season for the regional press opened tonight with the magical Peter Pan at The Waterside Theatre, in Aylesbury.
It’s a Christmas cracker of a family show that attracted the good and the godly to the official first night including magician Paul Zenon (looking very subdued in black), dancer Brendan Cole, who has a show at the venue in January, and the former Spandau Ballet frontman, Tony Hadley.
The star of the show is Russell Grant who made his name as an astrologer but has become better known to a new generation of fans for taking a spin on Strictly Come Dancing.
He has the part of Roger the Cabin Boy (yes, the first of a long list of very funny gags) which had to be especially written into the story although I don’t know why they didn’t just give him the role of Hook’s sidekick, Smee. As it was we ended up with, in effect, two comic turns which pushed the story off kilter.
We’re used to having the big star in the lead role (The Hoff or Henry Winkler as Hook) but here the major name had a very small part (so to speak)– though he made full use of his time on stage.
But Russell proved very much a company man and this dazzling show allows everyone to take their turn to shine.
None more so than two more freshly created characters – Divas Bobbie Gordon and Mgozi Ugoh who brought a sassy sparkle to the panto when they popped up to belt out a chart hit or two.
The wonderfully spoken Steven Serlin, who scored such a hit last year as King Rat in Dick Whittington, returned with a proper posh Captain Hook.
He’s a wowser as a bad guy, trading insults with the audience and earning a cacophony of boos and hisses. He’s also a mighty fine singer and, as he modestly admits, is “beautifully turned out” in the sort of red and gold brocade frock coat that Mr Hadley would have modelled on stage in his heyday.
There were lots of yo ho ho’s about Grant’s Strictly turn and fairies plus the usual knockabout performances by the hard-working support – particularly Andy Collins as Smee along with David Bridges and Matt Brown.
Fresh-faced Adam Pettigrew made a handsome Peter Pan but his leading role, in a story that bears his name, was overshadowed by the presence of “a big name”.
The audience were hooked on this spectacular show from the beginning but my night was made by sitting four seats away from one of my pop heroes. Pure Gold.
Peter Pan runs until December 30. For tickets call the box office 0844 871 7607 or go online www.atgtickets.com/aylesbury.
Search for a job
Search for a car
Search for a house
Weather for Luton
Wednesday 22 May 2013
Temperature: 3 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 20 mph
Wind direction: North west
Temperature: 4 C to 10 C
Wind Speed: 18 mph
Wind direction: North west