Tuesday was the opening night of Wyvern Theatre’s 2017 Panto, Peter Pan, and it got off to a flying start.
The Wyvern Theatre was transformed into a fantastical world, taking the Darling children from their nursery into the wonders of Neverland. Taken away by our narrator, played by Danielle Black, the audience take off to the second star on the right and straight on ’til morning to encounter Indians, The Lost Boys, and Captain Hook’s crew of pirates.
Originating from J. M. Barrie’s novel, the storyline infuses modern twists on this classic tale which played on Disney’s animated 1953 cartoon and the later 2003 film adaptation.
The production reintroduces favourite characters such as Captain Hook (EastEnder’s very own Adam Woodyatt), Peter Pan (Ryan Anderson), Tinkerbell (Abigail Matthews), Wendy (Lucy Pollard), and Smee (Anthony Lawrence), who are all embodied by animated and thrilling performances.
On Tuesday night’s opening show, playing both Mr Darling and Captain Hook, Adam Woodyatt entered to a roaring crowd and seemed most comfortable swapping the East End for the stage. Accompanied by his side kick Smee, Woodyatt and Lawrence played off each other and the audience terrifically which left the Wyvern Theatre in hysterics (myself included).
Peter Pan wouldn’t be complete without a tribe of Indians and The Lost Boys. Although the youngest of the cast, these were no amateurs. Lucy Pollard as Wendy executed a phenomenal solo number, whilst The Lost Boys and Indians ignited the stage through Damian Czarnecki’s dance choreography. Not forgetting John and Michael Darling, these two chaps illustrated British humour at its best.
This production is the epitome of family fun and entertainment. Smee and Tinkbell were a credit to this by the way in which they engaged with the children and adults, in keeping with the storyline whilst also blending in pop culture and current affairs.
As true to form, Peter Pan was packed with classic panto tropes from cream pies to the face, slapstick silliness, PG innuendos, and spectacular stage sets. The most enthralling aspect of all these, as the screaming children would suggest, was the audience participation. From sing-a-longs and throwing rock sponges, to booing Hook and shouting “he’s behind you”, the evening was a laugh-a-minute and fun-filled adventure. A complete farce!
Tickets are still available for this unmissable Christmas panto! For further information, and to book yours, click here.
All photo credit: ©Pete Dewhirst