This review of Peter Pan at the Mayflower Theatre Southampton is courtesy of complimentary tickets given to me by the Mayflower Theatre
This Christmas, take a fairytale flight to Neverland in the hilarious, swashbuckling pantomime adventure of Peter Pan that arrives at the Mayflower Theatre Southampton with a ship-full of magic and fairy dust.
From 14th December until 5th January 2020, the Mayflower Theatre invites you to meet Peter Pan, the Lost Boys, Wendy, Smee, Tiger Lily and Tinker Bell, and set sail for a family show full of fun, fairy dust and pirates galore.
Based upon Sir James M. Barrie’s 1904 play about the boy who refuses to grow up, this pantomime is faithful to this classic story whilst adding a sprinkling of modernity.
“To die would be an awfully big adventure,” muses Peter Pan, in one of the most famous lines from J.M. Barrie’s iconic fairytale story.
And what a treasure chest of adventure awaits at the Mayflower Theatre this Christmas as you set sail for Neverland and follow the boy who refuses to grow up, alongside his fairy sidekick Tinkerbell as they take on the evil Captain Hook.
The magic begins in the London nursery of Wendy, John, and Michael Darling, where three children are visited by Peter Pan (but for this wonderful production has been suitably renamed to the ‘roofs of Southampton’).
With the help of his sparkling friend, the fairy Tinkerbell, and the friendly Smee, Peter takes the three children on a magical flight to Never Land, a land of Lost Boys, Pirates and Mermaids.
This enchanted island is home to Peter, Tinkerbell, the Lost Boys, Tiger Lily and her Native American nation. But evil lurks in the midst of this magical land from the scheming Captain Hook who is as intent on defeating Peter Pan as he is from escaping the tick-tocking crocodile that once ate a hand of his that Peter Pan cut off and loved the taste of so much.
This magical production has a stellar-cast starring Marti Pellow, the multi-award-winning singer-songwriter and musical theatre star, as the villainous Captain Hook.
Joining him as Mr Smee is television and stage star Darren Day, Union J singer Jaymi Hensley as Peter Pan and the hilarious Grumbleweeds as the Pirates.
Jaymi Hensley as Peter Pan, Cassie Compton as Wendy, Kellie Knauck as Tinkerbell and Micha Richardson as Tiger Lily provided spine-tingling vocals that filled the whole arena.
Marti Pellow made a menacing and wonderfully gritty Captain Hook, with an incredibly powerful vocal who also took on a major role in writing the songs for the show.
Darren Day as Smee had such immense charm and charisma and held the whole show together as a wonderful storyteller. With a very likeable presence on stage, Day showed excellent comic timing with superb impersonations.
Bringing the fun, frolics and mayhem, are the long-running musical comedy act The Grumbleweeds as the Pirates. With Smee, they bring the classic comedy of a pantomime alive with timeless humour that both young and old will love.
Joining them as The Neverlanders are the jaw-dropping acrobatic troupe The Timbuktu Tumblers. Presenting an incredible display of human pyramids, hoop-jumping and flaming limbo work, the team bring a truly memorable performance that will leave you speechless with their talents.
In this Mayflower production of Peter Pan, you can expect to find a barrel loads of laughs that are both topical, (from Brexit to Love Island!), to local humour, that will grab you hook, line and sinker.
The stage effects are a combination of glorious sets, from flying, to the motion of ships and a hugely realistic crocodile, to costumes and lighting effects, that strike a tricky balancing act between the vintage elements of the classic tale and a modern-day appeal for a 21st-century audience.
The music builds on this theme, alongside the pop-culture-references, with a soundtrack of chart-friendly tracks children young and old will love, weaving classic Peter Pan songs with Ariana Grande and Ed Sheeran.
Nothing beats a traditional pantomime at Christmas for getting both young and old into the festive spirit. And as Tinkerbell so rightly says: “All you need is faith and trust and a little bit of pixie dust!”
With faith, trust and a huge dose of pixie dust indeed, you can be assured that this production by the Mayflower Theatre brings the timeless Peter Pan story of courage, friendship, loyalty, good and evil and fairies in a spectacularly uniquely modern way.
As someone who has studied music history since childhood, I love seeing how the traditional Italian art form of Commedia Dell’Arte has become a British theatre classic that is a sparkling way to introduce children to the delights of theatre.
With jaw-dropping flying and special effects, a barrel-load of laughter for both young and old, a ship-full of magic and fairy dust, the Mayflower Theatre’s interpretation of the classic tale of Peter Pan is a jaw-droppingly magical introduction to theatre for the whole family guaranteed to have everyone hooked!
Don’t leave it too late to hook your tickets to this spellbinding production and head to Mayflower Theatre website here to book your tickets. The croc is ticking!
There is also a fantastic range of accessible performances that include audio described, signed, and relaxed performances. Prices for Peter Pan range from £15 to £39.50.
Following a tradition from 1929, when J.M Barrie unexpectedly and generously gifted his copyright of Peter Pan to Great Ormond Street Hospital, to this day a portion of profits from every Peter Pan pantomime performed goes toward the care of sick or injured children at their hospital. In this case, the funds from this production in Southampton include the Saints Foundation.
How many of you will be seeing a pantomime this festive period? Does anyone love the classic tale of Peter Pan as much as me?
Event: Peter Pan
Venue: Mayflower Theatre, Southampton
Date(s): Saturday 14th December 2019 – Sunday 5th January 2020
Running Time: 2 hours 20 minutes including an interval
Time(s): From 1-3pm (check daily for alternate times) and 5-7pm (check daily for alternate times)