Friday, July 1

Peter Pan – St Helens Theatre Royal

It was a great pleasure to see Peter Pan the pantomime in St Helens last night, by Regal Entertainments. The audience was full of families ready to boo and hiss whilst shouting he’s behind you. It’s worth noting if you see the show double check the start times as they are afternoon and teatime showings.

Peter Pan (Harrison Vaughan) lives in Never-land. In Never-land it is a place full of lost boys. Where you can’t grow old. They all fight together against Captain Hook (Scott Gallagher) and his pirates. Peter had won the first fight against Hook by taking of one of his hands which was replaced by (you guessed it) a hook. However, Hook wasn’t going to lose the next time and plans to find his hideaway and poison Peter Pan whilst his cronies kidnapped the lost boys along with Wendy (Lauren McCrory), John and Michael.

Wendy, Michael and John came to meet Peter Pan when he flew into their bedroom as Peter wanted to catch his shadow so it could be sown back on to his body and offers them a chance to go to Never Never-land with him.

The shows comedic due Smee (Reece Sibbald) and his mother Mrs Smee (David Phipps Davis). We’re a whirlwind on stage. They were full of jokes and handing out bags of laughter. Even when things didn’t quite go to plan, they were very skilled at improvising even when corpsing at the very long tongue twisters. When they came in you knew you were in for a good laugh. Scott Gallagher as Hook was the perfect bad guy. Picking on audience members and making sure the boos were loud and proud.

I’ve seen pantomimes all over and some with tv celebrities. I can say hand in heart that this show blew them out of the water. You don’t need celebs to boost ticket sales just great actors and a great story, and this show is the perfect example of that. My only criticism of the show was that when some actors sang, the microphones or they themselves needed to be louder as the dialogue we could hear perfectly even above the screaming children. Also, some jokes were definitely for the adults. One child near me was traumatised by a teddy bear incident. But these are small things to nit-pick at.

If you want a day out with magic and incredible effects and to leave with a sore belly from laughing too much, then this show is for you. It’s not often I say this about a pantomime, but I want to go back and see it again and again. Kids around me were shouting to see certain scenes again and if screaming children loved the show then you know you’re on to a winner.

Playing until 18th April. Check https://www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com/show/873630792/ for specific dates and timings.

Reviewer: Luke Stephenson

Reviewed: 5th April 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★★

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