The Lichfield Garrick’s Christmas show has become a much-loved seasonal fixture and this year’s Peter Pan is no exception. This is spot-on family-friendly entertainment and heavy pre-booking means many performances are already sold out.
Peter Pan is something of a departure for the Garrick. It’s a Christmas show all right, but this adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s famous story is more of a West End-type musical than a traditional panto, all-singing and all-dancing thanks to musical supervisor Adrian Jackson’s catchy contemporary score.
Visually it’s sumptuous with superb sets and a lavish array of costumes and scene changes. The opening tableau set in London’s turn of the century Bloomsbury is a ravishing costermonger scene reminiscent of Oliver. This in turn becomes the black and white chic of the Darling children’s bedroom before we’re whisked off to Neverland with its fun- filled frolics.
The show’s writer and director Ian Adams must take the major plaudits for both the production and his starring role in it as the comically villainous Captain Hook complete with a series of increasingly glamorous outfits (well it is his show). His sidekick Mr. Smee is the matchless Barnaby who knows everything there is to know about laughter. Special mention must also go to Lisa-Marie Holmes who takes on the roles of of Mrs Darling, Big Mama and most entrancingly a commanding Mermaid. This girl can really sing.
But of course there’s CBBC’s Barney Harwood as well, (in real life Barnaby’s son) who was quite simply born to play Peter Pan. With his youthful charm Barney effortlessly embodies this spirit of nature with good-humoured energy while spectacular special affects make us believe he can really fly as he soars effortlessly over the auditorium.
This is a colourful non-stop musical treat packed with enough songs, special effects and silliness to send even the hardest-hearted Scrooge out in a merry old mood. There are still seats left meaning no-one needs to miss out, so as Peter Pan says, second star on the right, and straight on till morning!
Merry Christmas, one and all.
Peter Pan runs until January 9, 2011. For tickets phone the box office on 01543 412121 or go online at www.lichfieldgarrick.com.