Peter Pan

Theatre Royal Bath, until January 13

Do you believe in magic? I do. Because every year it happens at the Theatre Royal Bath. This festive season, Indians, pirates, a roller skating fairy and the boy who never grew up are flying into a star-studded, production of Peter Pan.

At the helm, steering the play through much of the comedy and farce is veteran actor Paul Nicholas – who many might remember as Vince Pinner in classic 1980s sitcom Just Good Friends. He plays both the haughty, richly robed Captain Hook and a bland Mr Darling, father of our young heroes who are so desperate to escape the humdrum of their nursery, they’re willing to fly across London’s Edwardian skyline, to the Neverland.

Along the way, Wendy, played by Jenny Huxley-Golden, John (Oliver Prutton) and Michael (Cameron Tew O’Mara) suspended from the ceiling, literally fly to hidden woodland glades, lagoons frequented by mermaids, an Indian encampment and the lair of Hook and his henchmen, on board the Jolly Roger. The set designs are simple and effective with interludes offering a secondary stage to Jon Monie who makes a welcome return from last year’s production of Snow White, as the wise-cracking, audience squirting Smee.

Providing a touch of siren song seductress is the shapely Rebecca Wheatley who dazzles in sequins as the mermaid queen, as well as exuding motherly love as Mrs Darling. The star of stage and screen sings beautifully and is in good company with both Wendy and Tinker Bell (Rachel Grundy) all carrying the musical extravaganza forward with their significant voice talents.

As well as comedy asides from Smee, the three-strong pirate crew also offer comedy, break dancing and acrobatics to amuse and delight the audience. A surreal note is added by two giant mascots, one of the Hook-eating-crocodile and the second of Nana the dog. The juveniles and Lost Boys, both provided by the Dorothy Coleborn School of Dance, provide fun choreographed dance routines, but of course, the star of the show has to be Peter Pan. Tim Edwards, who has starred in a host of theatre productions at home and abroad, struts the boards and flies confidently around the stage like the role was made for him.

Bringing J. M. Barrie’s vision to life is director Michael Gattrell, who is now in his fourth consecutive panto year at the Theatre Royal. So why not add a touch more fairy dust to this Christmas in a production the whole family will enjoy? The show runs until January 13. Contact the box office at the Theatre Royal Bath on 01225 448844 or visit