Peter Pan has that festive sparkle at Elgin Town Hall
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This Christmas, what’s the one thing that makes everything better?… no Smee- not wine! It’s the long awaited EADS annual pantomime! It may have seemed that with the pandemic the panto was Never Never - going to - Land, but wow, was it worth the wait, says Lauren Holmes.
Amanda Craib once again transported Elgin Town Hall audiences to a magical place where we felt like we never had to grow up.
With an energetic cast wearing an array of colourful costumes, lead by a wonderful Dame (Ben Mortimer), a playful Peter Pan (Lee Whitley) and a devious Captain Hook (Andrew Sutherland) there was fun had by all.
No matter how hard Captain Hook tried, he could never quite keep hold of the angelic Wendy played by Robyn Lean, because with help from her little brothers John and Michael (Corbin Kelly and Harry Bunyan) and a whole host of Lost Boys and Natives, good always won over evil.
Right away there was a strong opening song to ‘hook’ the audience right in, with pirates galore, uplifting sing-along numbers and even a shout out to Moray’s favourite radio station MFRrrrrrrrrrr! There was one pirate in particular that stole the show and that was Captain Hook’s trusty sidekick, Smee, played by local artist Nayomi Bunyan. With excellent comic timing and a natural ability to warm the hearts of the crowd she blew us away bigger than the explosives on stage.
No panto would be complete without copious amounts of magic fairy dust (or glitter in this case). Katy Rodway-Swanson was perfect for the role of the very sparkly and sweet Tinker Bell. She may not have been a fairy of many words but she definitely made up for it with acting ability. The audience loved her.
Tik Tok the crocodile, and Nana the dog were clear highlights for the children who laughed their socks off every time they appeared! The children I spoke to also adored the character Tiger Lilly who was wonderfully played by Ally Deas.
It was an amazingly colourful performance and the set was spectacular! An incredible life size pirate ship set the scene not only for battles, but also a heartwarming duet by Pan and Wendy towards the end. A map of Neverland sparkled throughout to keep the audience updated with the location of scenes. This was a was a lovely touch! Scene changes from experienced back stage crew ran like tik tok clockwork while the band played catchy songs to a crowd dancing in their seats.
In all it’s child friendly fun, this wasn’t just a show for the kids, oh yes it was! - oh no it wasn’t! There were some hilariously cheeky jokes to get the adults belly laughing. After all, there couldn’t be scenes set in London without the Dame mentioning a certain person, at a certain Christmas party, in a certain street!
Overall it was a great show. As recommended by the characters of Peter Pan, I’m off to the ‘Catch the Crabs Bar’, it’s the place to go.