Peter Pan Flies into Crewe Lyceum

It’s Christmas in Crewe, which means Cannon & Ball are back in town for Pantomime.

Peter Pan is one of the more famous Panto stories where Peter invites the Darling children to his home in Neverland where they meet his friends Tinkerbell, the Lost Boys & the natives to Neverland. The Lost Boys & Darlings end up captured by Captain Hook & his pirate crew, threatened with walking the plank. In the meantime, Hook believes he has managed to kill Tinkerbell and Peter, only for them to return and save the day with the help of the native tribe and a friendly crocodile called Tick!

And as every panto does, the story is littered with songs and sketches that on the whole fit to the storyline as we swap effortlessly from simple yet effective sets including the Darlings’ bedroom, to Neverland, to the Pirate’s Ship – The Jolly Roger.

In Qdos Entertainment & Nick Thomas you have the World’s biggest pantomime production company, and as expected you are treated to a family entertainment show that has something for every age, from little kids through to the biggest kids of all.

Cannon & Ball have been in the business for over forty years and are still craftsmen of their trade, they work effortlessly together as Pirate shipmates, bouncing off each other and the audience to keep the laughs coming constantly. Extra credit given for the handling of hecklers who tried to make the show more about them.

Leader of the native tribe, Big Chief Cheeky Chico looks all the part of the tribe’s leader. Chico came to fame in 2005 on the X Factor and went on to have a number one hit “Chico Time”, his popularity amongst a certain age group of girls and his ability to laugh at himself endeared him to a generation of followers. He appears to have recovered well from a Stroke in 2018 that, as he says himself in the programme notes, almost called Time on Chico. In fairness, his performance may not be up there with leading singers/dancers but he did bring enthusiasm and personality to the role.

Chico Photo Credit Wes Webster Photography

Chico Photo Credit Wes Webster Photography

Malcolm Lord again returns to Crewe, this time as Mrs Smee, the Dame. His years of experience showed, and he most definitely has the best set of costumes in the production.

Captain Hook, Pan’s nemesis is played by Stefan Pejic; his character is captivating from the first moment he appears on stage to the traditional Boo Boy welcome, to his final demise at the hands of the Crocodile. He maintains the menacing, fixated demeanour throughout the show, always plotting his revenge on Pan and friends.

His first mate, Starkey, saw arguably the most talented performer of the show take to the stage, Andy Eastwood is a variety entertainer for the 21st Century, and he uses his talents to entertain the audience throughout the show. Be it violin, ukulele, guitar, singing voice or comedy acting. Andy is more than a nod to the term professional entertainer and well worth the ticket price on his own.

So we’ve reviewed Peter Pan and not yet talked about the three principal roles – Peter, Wendy & Tinkerbell. This shows the depth in quality this panto has. In Peter, Joshua Wyatt bring a boyish charm to the role, and with the excellent Flying by Foy, he flies around the stage with grace, and well practices poise. Danielle Lockwood as Tinkerbell perfectly portrays the ‘jealous girlfriend’ type, interfering to stop Peter & Wendy hooking up. Danielle, uses her experience with Starlight Express to glide across the stage on skates, a refreshing change for Tink, and her vocals are more like that of an angel than a fairy. Wendy, Maisie Melia-Redgrave plays her part well, she manages to portray the caring nature of Wendy, wanting to help protect and help all the lost boys.

From the reaction and the look on children’s faces as they were mesmerised by the spectacle, it’s clear this show will be another success for the Lyceum.

Peter Pan runs until Sunday 5th January 2020.

About Author /

I joined AT The Theatre in 2018 after having worked in professional and amateur theatre for over thirty years as technical crew and management whilst having a career at senior management levels in IT and finance. I continue to stage manage productions alongside helping run At The Theatre.

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