As the yuletide season is once again upon us, it means only one thing – the King’s panto is back, sprinkling mountains of fairy dust and goodwill in the hope to cart everyone off to Neverland. Sadly though, some of us remain grounded. Adapting J. M. Barrie’s classic into a swashbuckling pirate adventure, Mr & Mrs Smee (Andy Gray and Allan Stewart) fly off to Neverland to bring back Wendy and the boys – sadly though they probably should have left them there.
With an experienced principle cast of pantomime stalwarts, this year, everyone’s favourite trio seem to be carrying the rest of the cast, as Tinkerbell (Shona White) and Peter Pan (Daniel Healy) fail to capture our imagination, drifting between scenes and quickly becoming forgettable. There are of course redeeming features. Gray soon has the audience enthralled as the gormless Smee and as usual, Stewart’s fabulous Dame has everyone laughing with her catchy songs and razor-sharp throw-away comments. Grant Stott’s Captain Hook is a terrifically camp bad guy as he works the Edinburgh audience into a frenzy of boos, capturing the real essence of pantomime. Even with its flaws, Peter Pan is traditional panto with state-of the art contemporary twists and some genuinely funny jokes, remember though, it’s Hook that deserves booed, not Peter and Tink!