Theatre Review: PETER PAN – Blackpool Opera House

Fun, energetic and humorous, this modern take of PETER PAN is a swashbuckling musical adventure for all the family

Blackpool’s famous Opera House has been transformed into the magical world of Neverland this Christmas as swashbuckling musical adventure PETER PAN heads to the stage.

Produced by the award-winning Selladoor Family, PETER PAN tells the story of the boy who never grew up and the adventures of his friends Wendy, John and Michael, as they take on the villainous Captain Hook and her band of merry pirates in the ultimate battle for Neverland.

Peter Pan, played by X Factor’s Jake Quickenden, is sweet, yet cheeky and has the audience giggling and swooning along. Captain Hook, played by TV star Jennifer Ellison, is equally excellent as the posh yet evil pirate, with the audience shouting and jeering at her as she orders her pirates around in a bid to kill Peter Pan once and for all. As Wendy (Grace Osborn) and her brothers, John (Elliot Clay) and Michael (Robbie Curran) take on the villainous Hook and her band of stupid pirates, there is laughter, cheers and sing-a-longs.

Blackpool’s own Maureen Nolan plays Mrs Darling, Wendy’s beautiful mother, delivering another great performance with fantastic vocals. The show begins with her, a grown up Wendy and Wendy’s daughter Jane, before flashing back to the time when Wendy was a child and met Peter Pan. The action then ends back in the bedroom with the two of them putting little Jane to bed and her meeting Peter Pan as she is left alone.

There are plenty of chart hits which get the audience dancing in their seats, such as Katy Perry’s ROAR, a powerful opening for Captain Hook with strong vocals from Ellison and the catchy number WE ARE FAMILY sung by all of the lost children. Quickenden’s vocals are incredible throughout the entire show, particularly in MAN IN THE MIRROR and Kelly Clarkson’s BREAKAWAY, his beautiful duet with Wendy. The classic ROCKY theme and FINAL COUNTDOWN also both feature as Hook and Pan battle it out.

But the star performance of the show is the pirate Smee, played by Radio Wave’s Breakfast Show favourite Scott Gallagher. From taking an important selfie just before Tiger Lily meets her fate, to his constant one liners ‘hash tag life’s not fair’ Gallagher has the audience in hysterics the whole time as the dimwit pirate and modernises Peter Pan in a new and fresh way.

In fact, the only real disappointment is that Tinker Bell doesn’t feature in this version. Instead, she is represented by a little green light and a little melody when she communicates, which is a shame as everyone loves a fairy. This is evident when the play erupts to chant ‘I do believe in fairies’ to revive Tink.

Fun, energetic and humorous, PETER PAN offers something for everyone and certainly won’t disappoint the children. A festive family favourite that’s well worth the ticket price.

4 out of 5 stars

PETER PAN at Blackpool Opera House runs until 7 January 2018.