REVIEW: Peter Pan, Theatre Royal, Newcastle

Danny Adams as Peter Pan with Clive Webb as Smee.
Danny Adams as Peter Pan with Clive Webb as Smee.
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Peter Pan is a panto classic, but in this case the traditional 'he's behind you' is replaced by the cry of 'he's above you!'

Leading man Danny Adams spends as much time flying across the stage as he does on it.

And given this is the 13th Theatre Royal pantomime outing for Danny and his gang, the production team were clearly tempting fate by including more death-defying flying stunts and on-stage acrobatics than they have ever dared before.

Fortunately, Lady Luck was smiling as the breathtaking and, at times, heart-stopping feats of balance and jeopardy were performed without any hitches, but plenty of applause from an appreciative festive audience.

Lady Luck wasn't the only one smiling.

Thirteen years down the line and this record-breaking production still packs the punchlines to match the pizzazz.

Old stagers Danny (as Peter) and Clive Webb (Smee) left no double entendre or slapstick stone unturned in a frenetic few hours of song, dance and spectacular sets and costumes.

Panto dame Chris Hayward was, as ever, the Queen of the panto catwalk with a wardrobe of kaleidoscopic proportions and, at one stage, a bosom of Zeppelin proportions.

Annual arch villain Steve Arnott dug his hook into the audience to poke out the boos and hisses with his usual aplomb and Laura Evans (Tinker Bell) and Julie Cullen (Wendy) provided the glamour and love interest ... despite Peter Pan's interference.

The big set monster crocodile and flying moped stunts left the jaws dropping, but the introduction of more circus acrobatics from the Timbuktu Tumblers and the Drunken Pirates really got the audience going. The latter, in particular, frayed the nerves with a balancing act that had me biting my knuckles.

For an evening of pure escapist entertainment, vivid colour, imagination and laughter, there isn't a panto that can compete. A fantastic show that will have you hooked (pun intended) from start to finish.

Show runs until January 21, 2018. Tickets start at £13. For more information visit the website