Peter & Friends Return

Date 27th January 2024
Society Nunthorpe Players
Venue St Mary's Church Hall, Nunthorpe
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Julie Ferguson
Director Eve Smith
Choreographer Julie Ferguson
Musical Director Eric Davison
Written By Julie Hobson

Report

Author: Dan Matuszak

A very warm welcome awaited myself and my wife by the lovely folk at Nunthorpe Players and their latest pantomime of ‘Peter & Friends Return’.

From start to finish, you could tell this cast of 30 plus people were having an absolute ball. Great reactions between them all and the audience participation scenes were well received by the audience.

Written by Julie Hobson, the story takes us years into the future from the original story of Peter Pan. Wendy (played by Jane Passman), is now grown up with 2 children of her own. A daughter called Jane (Eve Conyard) and a son called Brad (in this performance, played by Nicola Fox). We meet them in their bedroom one evening being told a bedtime story by Wendy.

Peter (played by Rebecca Atkinson) along with her shadow (Daisy Wall) and the fairies, Stinkerbell and Tacobell (played superbly well by Lee Rodgers and Andy Howard), arrived at the house expecting to see the young Wendy there but instead were greeted by Jane and Brad. Jane, an unbeliever in her mums stories, suddenly realised that her mum was in fact telling the truth. Peter was real!

They had come to take Wendy back to Neverland to help them once again defeat the nasty, evil Captain Hook (played with expertise by Claire Byron-Stonehouse) and his dastardly sidekick Smee (played by Julie Dobson). These two had great characterisations and worked really well together on stage.

Wendy said no, she couldn’t go back and left the room, but little did she know that Jane and Brad had said yes, they’ll go with Peter back to Neverland.

Once in Neverland, we met Percy the Parrott who was played with conviction by Jake Legg who kept the audience on side throughout the show.

We then met the rest of the company in their respective characters. Lee Blake as Tigerlilly, Benn Whitehead and Iain Kilcar as surfer dudes Jon and Ron Surfer, Megan Thornton as Croc and we can’t forget Steven Seagull as himself! (He kept popping up randomly in different parts of scenes.)

Pirates Emma Crosby, Peter Johnson and Cheryl Mills were a very funny trio together who worked well with each other. Special mention to Peter Johnson for his role as he had the audience laughing a lot. Something that is not easy to do.

The Lost Children, played by Kobe Byron, Leela Clough, Rebecca Derrick, Jasmine Emers, Olivia Kennedy, Charlotte McElvaney, Annie Mortby along with identical twins Layla and Lola Todd. Each of them had their own unique characterisations which were held throughout the show. Well done to them and the Directors for coming up with separate ideas for each of them.

Ensemble members Kate Dawson, Delcie Kennedy, Deanna Kennedy-Watts, Sharon Landess, Hollie Johnson and Elizabeth Roberts completed the company. There was not one weak link anywhere between them. Everyone looked like they were thoroughly enjoying themselves and made sure they were well heard when they had their own dialogue.

Colourful sets, costumes and lighting added to the visual spectacle and the 4 live musicians under musical director Eric Davison added to the whole show. It is always great to hear a live band in shows.

Great dancing and excellent vocals by the performers (a special mention to the young lady who sang a great solo even in the face of technical difficulties. She kept going and delivered a polished performance). Also, a special nod to Daisy Wall who did the dance solo to the Mission Impossible theme music. A great piece of contemporary dance which I am led to believe she choreographed herself. Well done to you Daisy.

Directors Julie Ferguson (choreographer also) and Eve Smith along with MD Eric Davison did a great job along with the rest of the production crew and author Julie Hobson must be so proud to see her work being portrayed so well on stage.

Well done to all.