A good ole Pantomime first started in the 16th Century includes songs, gags, slapstick comedy and dancing. For me it’s a perfect warm-up to Christmas combined old fashioned humour, singalong songs with a couple of brilliant Dames really gets me in the mood for a good time to party. Now that the pandemic is firmly behind us we can get on with actually having a good time and not have to wear masks and other coverup materials! Woohoo!
This year at the Opera House the Pantomime is Peter Pan with a usual all-star cast. The leads this year are Jason Manford playing Hook and Ben Nickless (My absolute favourite every year) playing Smee! Oh, boy did these two comedians working together did not disappoint. Considering it’s Jason’s first Pantomine I thought he did a brilliant job, he was a brilliant Hook and he has a great voice which I didn’t know too.
The first scene opened on a bright stage with coloured lights and beautiful outfits that the cats wore and a flying Tink played by Samara Casteallo again a lovely voice and help raise the mood of the cold temperatures from outside on a cold December night. She was a breath of fresh air and helped get the children in the audience excited for the Panto.
Then Smee turns up and raises the level to the top. He has a way with the audience where he just has us eating out of the palm of his hand, whatever comedic sketch he does he always has me holding my belly crying with laughter. My favourites came in the second half when he and Jason were dressed up as mermaids this alone is worth the ticket price honestly with singing melons. Wow! So funny and wonder if these two wrote some of the scripts because it was very much Ben’s humour. They had the audience crying with laughter!
I loved the parts where Jason and Nick would be out in the audience talking to the kids, mums and dads this is where they do best, off the cuff raw humour. Ben came out with a camera and zoomed in on the audience and picked people out and made a fuss of them honestly extremely funny. This is what good ole fashioned panto is for me, audience participation at its best.
Loved the costumes, set and bright lights on the stage. Especially at the end of the final sing song the costumes, stage and set were magnificent. Looking at the children smiling in the audience and watching the cast sing and dance was lovely.
Highlights for me were one of the last scenes the twelve days of Christmas, again this is where Ben and Jason are at their best. They had items they had to remember and after each time a new item was brought out and they had to remember in order the twelve items and yes, of course, things went wrong and naughty Ben kept hiding Jason’s items and even pulled his wig off at one point. I am smiling now thinking about it. Every year a similar gag is done like this and it always, makes me howl with laughter. I would imagine Ben has alot to do with the writing of these comedy sketches.
Peter Pan played by Ross Carpenter a happy smiley go lucky character who the children in the audience warmed to quickly. Especially when he could fly again watching the children and seeing him fly was magical. Loved the Acromaniacs (The Lost Boys) very supple and flexible doing the acrobatics scene with Ben, which was nice and turned into Ben messing it up as usual haha! Jessica Croll who played Wendy another bright smiling character with a good voice.
All in all another year where I really enjoyed myself at the Pantomime, no expense was spared on the lighting, costumes, props and orchestra. Excellent cast and some extremely funny scenes and watching Ben’s impressions section (which he got to the final of ITV’S Britains Got Talent this year) with a brilliant scene too.
You must take your children to see this, I promise you a brilliant night with plenty of giggles and belly laughs from you and your children.
Be quick it’s on until Saturday 31st December 2022 trust me you can’t afford to miss it!
5 stars from us congratulations cast and creative, well deserved and thank you to ATG for our lovely goodie bag