No Christmas is complete without a trip to the theatre to watch the panto and this year we can recommend an amazing show for you. St.Helens Theatre Royal will be showing Peter Pan from now until January 13th and it is most definitely a show not to be missed.
Over the last 12 months St. Helens has become one of, if now our all time, favourite theatre, especially when it comes to family entertainment. Their pantomimes are incredible and every time we leave I find myself believing it was the best show yet and they will never be able to top it and yet some how they always do and this year is no exception.
Peter Pan is played by non other than the resident funny man Lewis Devine himself. Lewis is a firm family favourite and always has us howling in our seats with his quirky ways, witty one liners, and his ability to go off script and keep the memento going when required. So we really weren’t sure what to expect as he took to the stage in a more serious staring role this year, but we sure weren’t disappointed. Lewis brought charisma and humour to Pan in a way only he can and it was lovely to see him in this type of role for a change, and who knew he had a singing voice like that! One we will hopefully get to hear more of in future shows.
Of course Peter Pan wouldn’t be Peter Pan if he couldn’t fly across the stage with Tinkerbell and that is exactly what happens as St. Helens ensure that the magic of the story stays alive for the children and the adults.
The flying Tinkerbell is played by gorgeous Kristina Rihanoff from Strictly Come Dancing, who makes for a very sweet tink in deed, and even wows the audience with a little bit of Russian and some incredible dance moves. I think it is fair to say that having Kristina in the cast has also impacted on the choreography and possibly the energy of the dancers altogether, as although the dancers are always amazing this year the choreography has really gone up a notch. There seemed to be more dancing than ever before and if you ever wondered what a pirate dance off would look like now’s your chance to find out.
photo credit - David Munn photography
Every panto needs a badie and of course Peter Pan has Captain Hook who was played by no other than Louis Emerick from Brookside. Louis did a brilliant job of not only acting but also singing and dancing too and was quite possibly the most lovable Hook I have ever seen, and one who had us all laughing, especially when he was on stage with Mrs Smee, played by the best dame around, Si Foster.
St.Helens are renowned for taking a well known story, delivering the main plot, and then adding in a few twists and turns along the way, usually with a few risque one liners and out and out hilarity too – just where they get some of these ideas from I do not know. This year the twists and turns allow you to learn a little bit more about the love life of Captain Hook and what he was like before he lost a hand to the croc, a story line that may just surprise you.
If you managed to see St.Helens Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs where they also used 3D effects and thought that was impressive, then you haven’t seen anything yet as that was clearly just the warm up. This time the 3D effects will have you screaming in your seat and ducking and diving out of the way to avoid the extremely realistic looking, and quick moving, see creatures coming your way.
If you are looking for a family friendly pantomime this Christmas, something that is laugh out loud funny, entertaining from start to finish, and will have you dancing in the isles then Peter Pan at St.Helens Theatre Royal is the place to go this year.
(We were gifted tickets to this pantomime in exchange for a review. All opinions are my own).