Video/Gallery: Get ready to be Hooked by Regent panto Peter Pan

Ipswich Borough Council's Bryony Rudkin meets Chris Ellison ahead of opening night of Peter Pan at t

Ipswich Borough Council's Bryony Rudkin meets Chris Ellison ahead of opening night of Peter Pan at the Ipswich Regent. Photo: Lucy Taylor

The villainous Captain Hook was up to no good at the Ipswich Regent this week, prompting a visit from Ipswich Borough Council’s culture portfolio-holder Bryony Rudkin which ended in a sword fight.

Are you brave enough to take on Captain Hook?

Are you brave enough to take on Captain Hook? - Credit: Archant

Enchanted Entertainment returns tonight for 17 action-packed performances of Peter Pan at the Ipswich Regent.

It stars The Bill’s very own DI Burnside Chris Ellison as Hook, Disney Art Attack presenter Lloyd Warbey as Peter, Jenny Jones from CITV’s Hi-5 as Wendy, the stars of CBeebies’ The Rhyme Rocket Andrew Crawford as Starkey and Joe Chambers as Noodler and impressionist Andy Fleming as Smee.

“It’s been a great year for the arts in Ipswich and there’s nothing like a panto, it’s the icing on the Christmas cake,” said Bryony before taking on the pesky pirate.

“I can’t wait (to clash swords with Hook); I’ve got three sons all of whom have played with swords at various times so I’m just going to think about what they’ve been doing and take him on. But come and support the theatre and come see a good old panto.”

“It’s almost as if you start to feel the magic come alive (once rehearsals start), that’s almost a very Disney kind of phrase but with Peter Pan there’s so much going, so many people involved. We’ve got 18 kids at any one time on stage, all local; we’ve got local boys playing Michael and John... they’re going to be fantastic,” says director Neil Reynolds.

“You get into the rehearsal room, tinker with the script a little bit - you put things in, take things out, it’s like doing a jigsaw puzzle. It’s coming together.”

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It’s an adventure from start to finish; with song and dance routines, pirates, Indians, swordfights and mayhem.

“For me, at Christmas, Peter Pan in one of the traditional pantomimes... you’ve got Cinderella and Sleeping Beauty and that’s all very nice for the little girls. They can see Wendy and Tiger Lily and the little boys look at Peter and go ‘I want to be a pirate too’.”

Then there’s the flying.

“There is, I’m not saying where and when but yes Peter does fly. We have animals too. We’ve got Nana the dog taking part and unexpected guests as well that I’m sure Captain Hook probably wouldn’t want to arrive.” Remade as films, TV series and cartoons, Peter Pan, says Neil, is a show that transcends age.

“JM Barrie wrote it for children he knew and it’s stood the test of time, it’s now a story for everyone. There’s something for everyone from the age of two or three to 93.”

Peter Pan runs until December 30.

Check out the web gallery now and watch the video to see who won the sword fight between Hook and Bryony.