REVIEW: Peter Pan, Newcastle Theatre Royal, until January 21

Laura Evans as Tinkerbell in Peter Pan.
Laura Evans as Tinkerbell in Peter Pan.

A panto always puts a smile on your face, and Newcastle Theatre Royal’s offering for 2017 is no different.

With the sterling father and son team of Clive Webb and Danny Adams at the helm, and panto dame Chris Hayward also on stage - it was already set to be a winner - and a winner it definitely was.
This year there is non-stop adventure full of swashbuckling pirates, flying children, magical fairies, treasure islands and a giant crocodile.
And as it was the 13th year performing at Theatre Royal for Clive and Danny, there were even more death-defying stunts and trickery than before - just to make it a little bit more interesting.
From the moment we set off on our journey to Neverland it was a laugh a minute.
Danny has the leading role as Peter Pan and between him and Clive as Smee, no slapstick, gag or double entendre was left out.
Some were even a little bit too crude - but fun all the same.
The comedy between the pair is infectious.
Danny is a fantastic actor but could never be in a serious role.
He is a lovable character though and audiences young and old warm to him.
Clive is superb as Smee but Chris Hayward often steals the show.
As Mrs Smee, the panto dame he is the queen of the catwalk in a serious of outlandish outfits from the dazzling gold dress with a crocodile for a shawl to the finale outfit with a huge blue pompom on her head.
Steve Arnott hooked his audience as the arch enemy Captain Hook, commandeering boos aplenty when he walked on stage and Laura Evans was suitable sweet as Tinkerbell.
Her rivalry with Julie Cullen as Wendy provided the love interest in the show and the glamour for the occasion.
This year’s pyrotechnics and special effects were beyond the imagination.
From a flying moped that spins 360 degrees in the air to the giant crocodile that came out at the audience they have gone bigger and better.
The dancers who limboed under fire just a beer bottle height away from the ground and the Britain’s Got Talent-esque performer who balanced on a top of a platform had the audience grimacing yet transfixed.
There is a reason why it’s the most successful panto in the North East. Despite a few technical issues, and a tad too much smut for my liking, it is a brilliant production and a highlight of the North East calendar.
Show runs until January 21, 2018. Tickets start at £13.See www.theatreroyal.co.uk

Captain Hook and Starkey

Captain Hook and Starkey

Chris Hayward as Mrs Smee.

Chris Hayward as Mrs Smee.

Danny Adams as Peter Pan and Clive Webb as Smee.

Danny Adams as Peter Pan and Clive Webb as Smee.