|Date||24th January 2020|
|Society||Wardens Theatre Company Ltd|
|Venue||Aberystwyth Arts Centre|
|Type of Production||Pantomime|
|Director||Richard Cheshire assited by Sonia Dobson|
|Musical Director||Elinor Powell|
Author: Jackie Titley
Peter Pan is a very well known story with fairies, lost boys,, pirates, Indians and the Darling family. This show contained everything demanded from a panto by their audience. Right from the opening of the curtains we were drawn in by superb scenery and colourful costumes. A red costumed Captain Hook (Alex Neil) met Peter Pan (Jordan Ainslie-Rogers) and established their relationship. A quick costume change for Captain Hook, who was an austere Mr Darling, just right for his change back to Captain Hook. Lighting was very effective throughout the show, I especially liked the way they extenuated the shadows.
The Darling family were a lively bunch and their “Our House” was executed well by all, including NANA.the dog (Joshua Roberts). This gave us an insight into the excellent choreography by Helen Jackells and Lorna Lowe. All of the choreography was competently performed by all of the cast – there were specific arm/hand movements for each group and they were light on their feet. Mrs Darling (Julie McNicholls-Vale) sang “Dreamers” to the children with a lovely voice. She also played Wet Winkle – a pirate very well.
The facility for flying was used by Peter, Wendy (Maeve Courtier-Lilley), John Darling (Sam Rolt), Michael (Owen Jac Roberts). The filmed scenes whilst travelling over Neverland were very effective and, whilst the flying and filming must have had a heavy cost implication, it was truly worth it.
On the arrival at Neverland we were introduced to all of the Lost Boys who loved Wendy and her stories, but were not enamoured by Captain Hook and the Pirates. The Pirates all had their own dance as an introduction. Most of them were not too happy to work for Captain Hook, but did as they were instructed. Smiley Smee (Paul Dark) involved the audience by inviting them, telling them, to shout “is it you” when he came on stage, to which he replied “no, it’s mee”. He was a very happy but reluctant pirate and the audience related to him immediately. We were lucky enough towards the end of the show to hear his lovely singing voice.
Inevitably the Lost Boys were captured by the Pirates but managed to escape with the help of “cock a doodle doo” Peter Pan. Peter was very enthusiastic and busy throughout and gave a traditional performance with hands on hips and, of course, being the hero of the hour. The Lost Boys loved the adventures he took them on.
The Indian Tribe were led by Tiger Lilly (Lucille Richards), who was captured and tied to the rock. The water effect achieved by material swinging from side to side was very effective. The Pirates caused laughter in the boat and were reprimanded by Captain Hook when they released her. Another of Peter’s tricks by imitating Hook. The Indians had a theme related to climate change and there was a lovely choice of songs throughout.
The “Tick Tock” Crocodile (David Goffin) had allies around the theatre with water pistols and soundly soaked the audience. And then there was Nanny Myfanwy (Ioan Guile). As ever (s)he caused havoc and lots of laughter. Nanny was even involved in flying as a mermaid! Costume and interaction with the audience was just right. A very experienced performer, obviously appreciated by both cast and audience. There were lots of excellent one-liners and jokes.
There were too many good performances to mention everyone. Suffice it to say we, the audience, had a great evening and it was obvious that the cast had lots of fun together which is always good to see.
I realise I didn’t see those children who took part in other performances, but I am sure they gave equally good performances.
Well done EVERYONE, on stage, backstage, costumiers, ensemble and band, led by Elinor Powell. It is a collaborative partnership which works well.