York Barbican Review

Review: Peter Pan, York Barbican, Sunday 8th April 2014

PANTOMIME, done well, is a winner with audiences at any time of the year, and Peter Pan at the York Barbican celebrated with a packed house on Sunday afternoon.

Despite an unexpected delay, the cast rewarded the audience for their patience with a performance worth waiting for, transporting us on a journey from London to Neverland and Hook’s ship.

In true panto style, both the script and acting were lively and fast paced, with plenty of audience participation from the outset to ensure even the youngest viewer’s attention never wandered far.

All-round favourite Dani Harmer, Tracey Beaker star and 2012 Strictly Come Dancing finalist, played a motherly Wendy, showing off her acting and vocal talents in equal measure.

Disney’s Art Attack presenter Lloyd Warbey played the title role with youthful charm and charisma while Alex Fleming, as Hook, delivered a decent dosage of boo-worthy darkness and comic menace. Credit must also go to the singing and dancing, endearing Lost Children.

However, veteran comedy star Bobby Davro stole the show as the very likeable, dopey Smee. Giggles were aplenty from young and old, thanks to the slapstick humour, quick wit and innuendo. There were also the obligatory flying scenes to appeal to young fans, and rousing rounds of "behind you" and "oh no he isn’t" for the panto die-hards.

Refreshingly, this Easter production, staged by Enchanted Entertainment, stayed true to JM Barrie, with the added bonus of live music, ranging from nursery rhymes to modern hits such as Katy Perry’s Roar, to ensure it was fresh and current.

– Gary Duncan