Preview: Peter Pan, Enchanted Entertainment, Ipswich Regent, until December 30

Enchanted Entertainment's Peter Pan at the Ipswich Regent. Photos: Nick Johnson

Enchanted Entertainment's Peter Pan at the Ipswich Regent. Photos: Nick Johnson - Credit: Archant

Looking for some traditional family fun this Christmas? Then take the second star to the right and head straight on to the Regent.

I got a sneak peek at several key scenes from this year’s pantomime, which runs for 17 shows.

JM Barrie’s tale of the boy who never grew up is an action-packed show featuring pesky pirates, brave Indians and some of the feistiest Lost Boys and Girls this side of Neverland.

Pan, played by Disney Art Attack presenter Lloyd Warbey, is full of boundless, boyish energy while The Bill’s DI Burnside Chris Ellison came over as an incredibly boo-able Captain Hook in the brief glimpse I got of him as the pirate looking to rid Neverland of Pan.

It begins with a rip-roaring London opening scene showing off the nifty footwork of the large cast faced with some challenging dance numbers.

Comedy impressionist Andrew Fleming as Smee particularly stood out with spot-on mimicry of Gary Barlow, Bruce Forsyth, Prince Charles, Ozzy Osbourne, Alan Carr and Michael McIntyre.

With jokes for the kids and some aimed squarely at the mums and dads, he looked more than capable of having audiences of all ages eating out of his hand.

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The sets I saw were impressive - I really wanted to climb on deck of The Jolly Roger - as were the costumes.

There was a good mix of songs too, including a nice version of Defying Gravity from Wicked. One minute you’re tapping your feet, the next you’re having your heart-strings tugged.

With cast-members not needed on set doubling as the audience, it’s a good sign that they were still laughing and cheering at set-pieces despite having seen them who knows how many times during rehearsals.

Unfortunately I didn’t get to see much of the stars of CBeebies’ The Rhyme Rocket Andrew Crawford and Joe Chambers as pirates Starkey and Noodler but Jenny Jones from CITV’s Hi-5 as Wendy Darling impressed when on stage. The youngsters taking part also did very well.

The highlight, literally, of the segments I saw were the amazing flying special effects which are better off seen then described.

What I saw was a snippet as last minute tweaks and polishes were made before last night’s opening performance but it bode well for the rest of the run.

It was also revealed that Enchanted Entertainment will return next year with the classic fairytale Cinderella.

Did you enjoy Peter Pan? Tweet me @WhatsonWayne on Twitter

WAYNE SAVAGE

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