Peter Pan - Mayflower Panto Review

14th December - 5th January 2020

We all know the much loved tale of Peter Pan. The boy that never grows up and flies the Darling children to Neverland for adventures on land and sea. But you have never seen the story told quite like it was tonight on the stage at the Mayflower Theatre in Southampton. For whilst it told the tale of the much loved children's character, there was a whole lot more laughter and excitement to be had on this quiet night in Southampton.

Based on the classic tale we know and love by J.M Barrie, you are introduced to the Darling children and their dog Nana, only with a sneaky twist. For Smee (Darren Day) is actually their loveable nanny
tasked with keeping them safe. That is until Peter Pan (Jaymi Hensley) arrives to whisk them away to Neverland. Of course Smee must join them (on a flying motorbike no less) to see what adventures are in store for them. But of course, as all pantomimes go, nothing quite goes to plan and the classic tale of Peter Pan ensues with pirates, Indian tribes and sword fights galore.

To say that the show started with a bang was an understatement. The energy and enthusiasm of the show continued throughout and Max was literally on the edge of his seat, eyes wide open to see what would happen next. From screaming at Captain Hook (Marti Pellow) that he was a bad man, to cowering from the crocodile and laughing at the Grumbleweeds, there was nothing shot of things to keep adults and children amused from start to finish. Exactly the way a perfect pantomime could be, and dare I say it, this one was practically perfect in every way!

Marti Pellow was cast as the perfectly dastardly Captain Hook, he left the audience booing at his sinister acting and applauding at his magnificent singing. To be honest, none of us knew if he was evil or just misunderstood by the end of it as he had won us over as quickly as you could say Wet Wet Wet. His acting was complimented perfectly by Darren Day who took to the stage as loveable Smee. Max was won over by his performance and proclaimed his as his favourite character "especially when he did all the tongue twisters as they must have seriously caused him a headache"! He was enigmatic and had boundless energy as he imitated fellow celebrities and won over the hearts of the audience. 

Jaymi Hensley reprised his role as Peter Pan and it appeared that he felt right at home on the stage and worked brilliantly with Cassie Compton (Wendy), Kellie Gnauck (Tinker Bell) and Micha Richardson (Tiger Lily) who all stunned with their vocal range and wowed with their stage presence. 

With a blend of rewritten chart hits, brand new songs (co-written by Pellow himself) and staging like no other, this is a show that is exciting, fresh, yet also timeless at the same time. I don't want to give too much away with some of the visuals as you need to see it to believe it, but I guarantee you that you will leave the theatre telling all your friends just how amazing this show was (and also checking on the website to see if you can see it again!). 

Peter Pan is on at the Mayflower in Southampton until the 5th January 2020. It's the perfect pantomime for those grown ups and those that just never want to grow up. I urge you to buy tickets as dare I say it, this is the best show for sure on the south coast! A five star show that cannot be missed this Christmas and New Year. 

*Note: We were gifted tickets for the purpose of the review, all thoughts and opinions are our own.

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