The Adventures of Peter Pan and Tinkerbell
Rating: 4 / 5
Peter Pan is one of the best-loved children’s stories, and has always been perfect for pantomime, with its magical characters mixed with the everyday children of author J.M. Barrie’s Victorian England.
Bonnie Lythgoe’s new production The Adventures of Peter Pan and Tinkerbell has been travelling down the east coast, with seasons on the Gold Coast, in Sydney and now Melbourne.
The diverse opening night audience had a ball, especially revelling in the audience participation.
All the performers are competent singers, dancers and actors, while the leads demonstrate an admirable quick wit to improvise and respond to whatever comment an audience member night throw in.
While the show could do with trimming (especially considering the young ones in the audience), it is ideal for newcomers to the theatre, because everyone has a good time and hopefully they will become live theatre devotees.
Performances are uniformly excellent. Todd McKenney is a wicked delight as Captain Hook, while Kev Orkian brings the house down as leading pirate Smee. Katrina Retallick as Mrs Darling and the very ‘Orstralian’ Mimi the Magic Mermaid shows huge versatility and a fine singing voice. As Peter Pan, the boy who never grew up, Tim Maddren is a charismatic performer who was born to play Peter Pan, while Jaime Hadwen’s Tinkerbell is a pert Cockney, and Robyn Loau’s Tiger Lily is charming.
The mature content definitely made this a PG-rated pantomime rather than a G-rated one. But the risqué jokes should go over the heads of very young children.
I have rarely seen a happier audience leaving a theatre—always the mark of a good show.