It’s Christmas and therefore Panto season is truly underway. Across Northamptonshire it’s time to get shouting ‘oh no it’s not, oh yes it is’. The Royal and Derngate has out-done itself this December with its performance of Peter Pan.
This was a true laugh-a-minute show that will make all the family smile. Be warned, these pirates, lead by tv’s own Darren Day as Captain Hook, are gnarly. There was every trick in the book, explosions, gags, the odd slip of adult humour, dancing, singing, even karaoke and of course, being squirted with water pistols! It’s based on a ship after all!
As Wendy and her siblings reach Neverland and the young Peter Pan, they meet Tink on rollerskates which was a clever adaptation to the usual flying fairy. As the children join up with Tiger Lily, Mimi the Magical Mermaid and dance group Flawless (also known as the Neverland Warriors) they work to defeat the horrible Hook. We are taken on a quest of magic, belief and music.
The comedy duo, The Grumbleweeds, Robin Colvill and James Brandon, provide fantastic laughter and improvisation throughout. Their hosting skills allowed the production to flow seamlessly whilst also being vital members of the cast. Some of their jokes were so cleverly timed and acted that you could see the audience crying with laughter.
Darren Day made sure that every Panto moment, that we all know and love, happened perfectly. There was a boo and hiss at all the right moments. He was the perfect Hook with scars to boot and just enough pirate menace about him.
The addition of the Britains Got Talent finalists, Flawless, was quite magical and not something we’d seen before in Panto. Their dances broke up the musical sections with moves that made you look in every direction. The crowd absolutely roared with applause for them which showed their influence on the audience.
As with many Royal and Derngate performances, you could easily believe you’re in the West End. The performance had just the right amount of Christmassy cheese that you were laughing, enjoying and forgetting about the outside world, whilst portraying a great story. You needn’t know the original story of Peter Pan with this performance, it told it’s own.
This is a must-see show this Christmas and one the whole family will enjoy. There’s something quite magical about seeing children in the audience become so enthusiastic about the real action and shouting ‘its behind you!’
The show is on until the 30th December so make sure to book your tickets at the Royal and Derngate today!