Peter Pan

Date 27th October 2022
Society Dragon Tale Theatre Group
Venue Highfield Middle School, Prudhoe
Type of Production Pantomime
Directors Fiona Henderson and Samantha Macbeth
Co-Director Stuart Rutherford-Orrock
Choreographer Samantha Macbeth
Written by Tom Whalley

Report

Author: Michael L Avery

The last time I was at a pantomime at Prudhoe was just over 3 years ago. How time flies! It took no time to get back into panto mood with this almost brand new version of Peter Pan by Tom Whalley. I always enjoy a visit to Dragon Tale. The annual panto is more like a very inclusive party, involving everyone on stage, backstage, in the audience and in the local community. This was a faithful re-telling of the classic story with the occasional adult orientated one-liner which, hopefully, went over the heads of the children in the audience … or maybe not!

The ensemble presented by Dragon Tale is still large alhough not quite as huge as pre-pandemic.  I counted 45 names in the programme although one or two players take on more than one part.  I think, in a previous year, I counted just under a hundred so there is still some catching up to do.  There is an equally large "show team" to make sure all the children (and adults, I expect) are in the right place, in the correct costume at the right time.  A considerable logistical achievement!

As always, the show was great fun. The usual “boo” and “hiss” placard was regularly in play although the audience didn't really need any encouragement. A very sparkly Tinkerbell (Samantha Macbeth) opened the show and demonstrated a very engaging personality and pleasant singing voice throughout. Wendy (Cate Wooton) was similarly persuasive and entertaining, both acting and singing. Wendy's brothers John (Fintan Ellender) and Michael (Harry Clubbs) were an amusing duo who Wendy occasionally needed to keep in line. One of them wore a top hat which should have been given a credit of its own! And then there was Peter Pan himself, in the form of Fiona Henderson, who played the part of the boy destined never to grow up with gusto. Together this little group made a fine team.

It seems unfair that the loveably but churlish Captain Hook (Ray Moore) had to deal with them all pretty much on his own although he did have his slightly ineffectual sidekick, Smee (Louis Popov), to assist and there was also a Pirate Band and some Red Indians for Tinkerbell, Wendy and team to contend with. As always, it's unfair to pick out individuals in an ensemble performance like this. All those involved, from the most mature adult to the youngest child, contributed greatly to the general feeling of bonhomie engendered throughout … and my guest for the evening even won a raffle prize!!