|Date:||Saturday 16th January 2016|
St. Blazey AOS
St. Blazey AOS bring us their 67th Panto in the shape of Peter Pan, their first visit to the realms of Neverland. Tempting Director Mike Meer back to the world of panto has resulted in their funniest production to date. Peter Pan is a shining testament to Mike’s wicked sense of humour and his gift for producing shows that are visually stunning as well as entertaining.
The cast is a mix of well known and popular faces alongside a sprinkling of new names, a blast from the past and a fabulous array of children.
Erin Potter is superb as Peter Pan, her depiction of the innocent boy destined never to grow up is both intelligent and sympathetic. Erin’s performance goes far beyond any of her previous roles and bears a striking resemblance to Jill Greenacre portraying the boy who could fly some years ago at Hall for Cornwall.
Thea Housman lives for panto, capturing the hearts of audiences year on year with her cheeky, animated facial expressions and her obvious passion for performing. Thea has blossomed into a beautiful teenager and revels in her role as the feisty and sassy Tinkerbell - a role that gives Thea plenty of scope for her trademark visual comedy!
Paul Pearce and Georgina Walkey are Mr & Mrs. Darling; although essential to the story these roles are relatively small, but perfectly played by both. An early scene involving the couple and their offspring is simply charming. The Darling children, led by Taliah Hooper as the delightful Wendy, are a superbly cast trio of youngsters with Jake Shillaber and Bella Lake enjoying their parts as Wendy’s siblings.
The marvellous Kim Rowe has transformed from being everyone’s favourite dame into the eponymous baddie we love to loathe. Kim relishes his role as the horrible Hook, daring the audience to hate him more each time he appears. Hook’s motley pirate crew may be a disappointment to their leader, but this little gang of misfits deliver some very entertaining moments.
As previously mentioned we have a blast from the past with Darren Williams making a welcome return to the panto stage to delight as Delia The Cook. Be warned - Darren’s comic timing and razor sharp ad-libbing causes aching sides.
Tara Woollacott is a revelation as Smee; no stranger to straight lead roles, this is her first appearance in a full comedy role. Tara positively glowed as one half of the comedy duo alongside old hand Andy Gill as Starkey.
The party of Indians are great fun, led by Nikkie Olsen, Andrea Shillaber and Rowina Caesar in warpaint, feathers and beads. While the wonderful Lost Boys eventually find themselves a happy home.
Sarah Griffin is heavily disguised in two roles; the first as Nana the Dog, who is adorable and the second as the snappy Crocodile, who isn’t.
Music throughout is upbeat and fun, thanks to Aaron Barker as Musical Director. The company benefits greatly from Aaron’s talented musicianship and his vocal coaching abilities.
Choreographer Nicky Stephens joins St. Blazey for the first time, but hopefully not the last. Working closely alongside Mike Meer and Aaron Barker, the trio bring out the best in everyone, cranking St. Blazey up another notch.
The unseen backstage crew have excelled themselves yet again with technical wizardry and visual delights, creating fabulous set pieces from bedrooms to pirate ships, the essential ticking crocodile and the piece de resistance – a very naughty bird. Terrific costume design, props, sound and lighting ensure the cast have the best of everything to deliver a truly professional show. Congratulations to everyone involved in this thoroughly enjoyable visit to Neverland, filled with music, laughter, sparkly lights, colour and plenty of surprises – including a couple of well known faces in the guise of mermaids.Peter Pan runs until Saturday 23rd January at the Keay Theatre, tickets available from 01726 879090