Wednesday, November 29, 2023

Review: Peter Pan flies high in wonderful panto at the Thameside Theatre

Peter Pan at the Thameside Theatre

IF you want to go and see a pantomime that has everything for everyone then go and see Polka-Dot Productions Peter Pan at the Thameside Theatre.

This is the eleventh pantomime that this reviewer has watched at the Thameside. If you think these are all puff publicity pieces then we will be honest and say that we struggled with last years panto.

The panto began with a colourful musical scene that celebrated London. Early on, it was clear that this was definitely a panto with an eye for costume and colour from the maroon outfits of the dancers to the children’s bedroom.

Then we were introduced to X Factor’s Marcus Collins who starred as Peter Pan. Listening to Marcus singing was worth the entrance money alone. Popular numbers such as Cake by the Ocean and Fight Song were excellent but the stand out number was a great rendition by Marcus and the rest of the cast of Can’t Stop The Feeling.

Each number became a stand alone performance. Of course he also had to perform using a high wire and these were executed seamlessly.

But other performers sang and acted equally well. Special mention goes to Leah Carter as TigerLily and Fiona Sim as the Mermaid. Fiona, we learned, had been away from the stage for a few years and so this was a very welcome return.

This was a panto putting all the right bits in at the right time. Along comes Smee and Capt Hook. Smee is played by local actor Luke Coldham. Luke’s Smee was the glue that kept the panto together. We make no excuse for “bigging up” the local boy. Luke is a genuine talent, who we hope will go far. From his Honey Smee chant to the ad libs (What can you see “A struggling actor”-very good). And he was a perfect foil for Capt. Hook who was splayed with admirable nastiness by James Austin Harvey.

By now they really got the young ones in the audience involved and after that the whole cast had the whole audience with them.

There isn’t a great deal of space on the Thameside stage, so you have to admire the choreography and stage management throughout the performance. But this looked like a happy crew and it transmitted itself to the audience. They seemed to be enjoying themselves then again, they were performing a belting pantomime.

There was also an excellent underwater scene that used neon images really well.

The two hours sped by and to be honest we could all watch it again. It had so much and most of all it had a feelgood factor.

Go on, treat yourself for Christmas and get down to the Thameside Theatre for Peter Pan.


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