Date: December 12 2018
Location: St. Helens Theatre Royal, St. Helens
Upon entering St. Helens Theatre Royal, a small auditorium which I believe leads to a more intimate performance, it was clear that the children in the audience were very excited. Louis Emerick was excellent as Captain Hook, and a very good baddie. However, Si Foster stole the show as Mrs Smee with a very entertaining performance.
Kristina Rihanoff as Tinker Bell was a very convincing jealous fairy, while Lewis Devine gave a very energetic performance as Peter Pan. He was superb when he interacted with the children. If you won the golden ticket (placed randomly in a programme), you got to go up on the stage with him. One very confident little boy was asked to sing, and then he did not stop, so Peter had to shut him up. At one point, he even pushed him off the stage, much to gasps of amazement and laughs from the audience. In addition, Georgina Parkinson was very sweet as Wendy.
The programme was ideal, as it had a few puzzles in to amuse the children whilst waiting for the performance to begin. Audience participation was 100%, which included clapping, singing and dancing when requested. A flying scene over the backdrop of London was very well-executed, and the “behind you” scenario with the crocodile was entertaining and amusing.
The scenery was beautiful, and the costumes were gorgeous, in particular those of Captain Hook and Tinker Bell. I felt initially that The Lost Boys were overacting, but they soon settled into their roles.
The “well worth a visit” moment came when the audience were supplied with 3D glasses for the visual of sea monsters coming out into the audience; it was very scary (resulting in a lot of screaming), but also totally amazing. There was also a mop sketch with Captain Hook, Mrs Smee and two pirates, which was well-executed and very funny.
My personal opinion is that this was the best pantomime I have ever seen. Sat next to me were a family who had travelled from Manchester to see the performance. They had heard excellent reviews of the Theatre Royal and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. They were certainly not disappointed and intend to attend every year, and I feel the same way!
Overall Rating: 9/10 – Outstanding