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REVIEW: The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan at Darlington Hippodrome

The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan

Darlington Hippodrome

Until Saturday 31 December 2022

Written by Alan McHugh, Peter Pan as a pantomime adventure moves away somewhat from the J.M. Barrie book. It is simmered down to a simpler story where Wendy is returned to Never Never Land to help Peter recover his ability to fly, while Captain James Hook tries to play a reformed character in order to exact a revenge on Peter.

In this condensed format it works absolutely fine with Steve Arnott returning to his natural role as Hook an providing all the battering down of the fourth wall required by a villainous character. He had the audience reacting to him exactly as it should.

Christopher Biggins returns to the theatre where he had his pantomime debut in the mid 1970s. As Mrs Smee he is a treat. Whilst his mobility issues were compensated by creative, and funny, use of props, he had lost none of his cheeky humour and engaged the audience (and his young volunteers at the end) with a delightful charm. His costumes are another valuable source of comedy in the show.

Ricki Jay is refreshing as Smee with his mature approach to comedy that has a good balance of child and adult appeal. Peter Peverley as, Starkey had a very different comic approach which also had us in stitches.

Wendy Darling and Peter Pan, played by Sheri Lineham and James Hameed hold the story together and had a lovely onstage chemistry, which in this production did not elicit jealousy from Tinkerbell, played by the bubbly and engaging Tegan Bannister.

Effects were impressive and the costume design unique. No microphone problems were detected unlike every other Christmas production we’ve seen this year. The sound was excellent. The music was different to that heard at other pantos and used a live band and the excellent singing voices of the cast and chorus. A live band always lifts the quality of a show for us.

The audience reaction was clearly positive. We heard a child outside telling her parents “That was amazing”... and these are the people that matter, not us reviewers! Nevertheless the three of ad an excellent time, at what we think will be our final pantomime of 2022.

Review: Joanne Oliver

Photos: Scott Akoz


The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan runs from Friday 9 to Saturday 31 December. Tickets are on sale now with early booking advised. For full details and to book visit or call the box office on 01325 405405

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