Peter Pan Pantomime Preview
Tyne Theatre and Opera House – 16th October 2023
There is nothing brings out the festive spirit in me than a good old pantomime launch and Enchanted Entertainment with Tyne Theatre Panto pulled out all the stops to make this one very enjoyable indeed. There was glitz, there was glamour, there was a bloke in a frock and, of course, there was some music to launch this year’s pantomime at the glorious Tyne Theatre and Opera House – the swashbuckling and enchanting story of Peter Pan.
Panto stalwart, the hilarious Charlie Richmond was on hand to compere the proceedings in his character this year, of Mr Smee. He regaled the attending press with some jokes before introducing a fabulous line up of stars from Eastenders, CBBC, some amazing local talent and the kids who make up the Darling family as they welcomed us all to Neverland from 8th December to 7th January at The Tyne Theatre and Opera House.
As the event unfolded, we were treated to laughs, jokes, some amazing vocal talent, and I am really excited to see this very friendly cast in action this year in Peter Pan. It will be an awfully big adventure like no other. Guy Pascal and Jez Weatherall have assembled a dazzling cast of stars to bring this magical story to life.
Heading the cast as Peter Pan, is Eastenders and Dancing on Ice star Matt Lapinskas who glowed on the stage as the boy who never grows up. Guys and Gals will all be dazzled by this handsome man as he glides across the stage this year. Matt is also directing the pantomime and everyone is very excited to work with him.
Our glorious dame and returning to The Tyne Theatre and Opera House is local superstar Lewis Denny. He flexed his vocal cords to get us all into the festive spirit with a wonderful rendition of Elton John’s Step into Christmas. Lewis has travelled the length and breadth of the country performing in holiday camps but he is delighted to be back at The Tyne Theatre and Opera House to perform as Mrs Smee.
Next, we met the villain of the piece. The wonderful Micky Cochrane who returns following his villainous role in Beauty and the Beast last year. Micky has been touring with the new staged version of I. Daniel Blake which I was honoured to review when it visited Northern Stage earlier in the year. He is delighted to be playing Captain Hook this year having previously appeared as Smee in an earlier production.
Peter Pan is not Peter Pan without his trusty side kick and fairy, Tinkerbell. This is being played by local girl, Phoebe Garr. This multi-talented actor plays drums and also roller skates and has recently been performing with The Charlie’s Angels Band at many events including one at The Tyne Theatre and Opera House. She gave us her version of I Wanna Dance with Somebody and my word she has some vocals to display.
Wendy will be played by Cleo Demetriou from CBBC’s So Awkward. Cleo was born in Limassol in Cyprus and looks adorable as the eldest child of the Darling Family. Another strong vocalist is Sam Lavery who will be taking on the role of Tiger Lily. She enchanted everyone with her wonderful performance of Katy Perry’s Roar. Jezz Weatherall will be in heaven with the options available to him in terms of vocal talent and the superb abilities of all the singers in his cast.
Finally, I was able to chat to one of the younger teams of children of which there are four. Ben (John Darling) and Jake (Michael Darling) were so excited to be part of this amazing cast. They both came through an extensive audition procedure and prevailed against hundreds of other children to secure their roles.
This is a cast I will be very excited to see perform and the historic Tyne Theatre and Opera House this Christmas and we are sure to be enthralled by some amazing comedy, traditional set pieces, wonderful songs and some spectacular surprises as JM Barrie’s immortal story is brought to the stage in pantomime form by Enchanted Entertainment, Tyne Theatre Panto at The Tyne Theatre and Opera House from 8th December to 7th January. Tickets are on sale now online and from the box office. The tickets are flying out so don’t miss out on your journey to Neverland.
~ Stephen Stokoe
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