We were recently lucky enough to be invited to watch the opening night of the Peter Pan panto at Blackpool Grand Theatre. Running from Dec 6th 2019 until Jan 5th 2020, this Martin Dodd for UK Productions pantomime extravaganza promised to be fantastic, fun-filled, family friendly and full of fairy dust. It certainly didn’t disappoint.
Playing to a packed theatre buzzing with excitement, we were introduced to the cast with a high energy number in the Darling house. Smee (Steve Royle) was met with roaring applause, although when Nana the dog appeared, the applause was on a par, with added cooing! Soon the cooing turned into booing, starting early for Tom Lister as Mr Darling (later Captain Hook) when he told the very cute Nana off – how dare he!
I have to say that the show was made all the more fantastic for us with the pairing of Captain Hook and Smee. Tom Lister played his part with absolute gusto, and the combination with Steve Royle was comedy genius. What a phenomenal and funny performance from them both.
That is not to detract for a second from the performances of the rest of the cast. The innocent love between Peter and Wendy showed throughout the performances of Jack Heasman and Ruth Betteridge, often cut short by a roller-skating Tinkerbell (Rachel Grundy) who delivered the perfect jealous fairy.
Christina Meehan as Mrs Darling and Natalie Hollingsworth as Tiger Lilly were on top form and played their parts perfectly. Special mention must also go to all the young actors and Barbara Jackson Theatre Arts dancers who did themselves very proud.
Over the three hours we were there, all the children in the audience, and most adults, couldn’t help but interact with the cast – boos, cheers, raspberry blowing, trying to avoid water pistols, super soakers, and even toilet rolls! The kids then HAD to put their fingers up their nostrils, because the Lost Boys said so. The staple of any panto – “Oh yes he is” and “He’s behind you” – also sprang out from the audience with perfect timing.
In addition, you can look forward to fantastic ad-libing from Smee, flossing Lost Boys, Queen songs that you’ll never listen to the same again, a great soundtrack of hits, and acrobatic displays the kids will love – The Nitwits’ tumbles and flips were met with amazement from my little man, clapping and cheering all the way through.
The theatre, in its 125th anniversary year, went forward with a production that will end its celebration year on a huge high. What an absolutely amazing action-packed, funny and yet touching show it was. I’d actually say it was the best pantomime we’ve seen. I left with a big smile on my face and with a very happy little boy. Most importantly though… now we really do BELIEVE!
If you haven’t booked yet, you’re missing out on a treat. To find out more about prices, times and to book this fabulous panto, please visit www.blackpoolgrand.co.uk
Magic and Sparkle
The Grand in conjunction with Producer Martin Dodd of UK Productions Ltd is hoping to make the festive season a bit more special for local groups in need with their Magic & Sparkle tickets. Regular and new Panto-goers are being invited to buy an extra ticket (at a very special rate), which will then be donated to local groups in need. To find out more please click here.
DISCLOSURE: We were invited to attend the Peter Pan Pantomime at Blackpool Grand Theatre free of charge for the purpose of review, however all thoughts and opinions remain our own, and we really did enjoy this!