DO YOU believe a boy can fly? Well, you do in this pantomime version of J MBarrie’s Peter Pan.
The many flying episodes are excellently done and Jack McMullen (from Waterloo Road and Brookside) flies like an expert as Peter. It’s surprising to discover that this is his first pantomime. He plays the title role in swaggering style, hands on hips, legs akimbo and vocally forceful, but never forgetting that he’s meant to be a boy.
Gary Turner (of Emmerdale) is playing Captain Hook for the eighth time and creates a nasty but strangely soft-centred villain, boo-worthy but essentially comic. More humour comes from Derek Moran (of Channel 5’s Milkshake) as Smee, the useless pirate who early on establishes a rapport with the kids as Mr Mee in the Darling household prologue.
The comedy is character-driven rather than gag heavy with the script from Andrew Ryan relying more on story-telling and musical numbers. This is essentially a family show with lots of input required from the youngsters in the audience.
It does include elements J M Barrie probably never envisaged like a Tinker Bell (Lucy Johnson) on roller skates and some very acrobatic pirates played by The Nitwits acrobatic group who save their funniest routine for the last with Moran joining the antics on a gymnasium horse.
Samantha Giffard is a lively Wendy, befriended by Peter together with her two young brothers, and there is some excellent dancing from the ensemble. The charming children and Lost Boys are from the Liverpool Theatre School.
Production values are generally good and there is a small but live pit band. And, if you like standing in your seat dancing Gangnam Style, this is for you.