Saturday, 7 December 2013

Theatre Royal
Starring David Hasselhoff, Su Pollard and Barney Harwood

The story of the "boy that never grew up" and casting Barney Harwood as Peter Pan was a stroke of genius as he still only looks like a teenager. He has the energy of a teenager, the looks and the child like qualities that go to make an ideal Peter, oh yes and he has a rather good singing voice as well. being an ex Blue Peter presenter and daredevil, he was well placed to take on the flying roles as well.

Nottingham's very own Queen of the stage, Su Pollard, no stranger to the Theatre Royal, played to her local strengths and Hi De Hi past as she made her entrance as Mimi the Magic Mermaid, complete with lots of fishy jokes and a costume to rival Lady Gaga.

But the undoubted star of this year's panto was indeed David Hasselhoff as Hoff the Hook. In the past, some of the panto villains have taken their character just a little too far, but The Hoff got it spot on with Hook, and he was an absolute joy to watch him take the mickey out of some of his past roles from "Baywatch" to "Knight Rider" and his stint on "Britain's Got Talent", and it seemed as if his singing wasn't taken as seriously as some may have expected, and all of these really endeared him to the audience, to the point that many of them forgot to boo and hiss. This obviously shows the love Nottingham has for David.

I had mixed opinions on Ben Nickless, who played Smee, and I really started to enjoy his act when he was being more like the comedian that he is, instead of the script which seemed to have been written for Billy Pearce a decade ago, and it's just a shame that more of Ben's own comedic style couldn't have materialised, but the kids thought the script funny.

There are some really good original songs, well I think they were original; I'd not heard them before, which wouldn't have sounded out of place in any new West End musical, as well as a few modern tracks like Lady Gaga'a "Applause" and the odd oldie, "Hooked On A Feeling" and a rock n roll medley for the finale. All of which really blended well.

Topical jokes about Tom Daley and Ed Milliband were slipped in nicely and kept the humour bubbling along. The dancers provided a solid backing for the dance routines and the sound was very good... most of the time.

If I was to be very picky, I'd say that it could do with being a little tighter in parts, but this was only the second performance and it's usually the case that as the run gets going and the actors start settling in, that this normally eradicates the odd second delay, and believe me, that's all it is, the odd second that needed tightening up on.

The couple of little hiccups were professionally recovered, especially by Barney when his flight was delayed, so to speak, but I can't see this happening again, the delay not the recovery!

It's a very enjoyable evening for the whole family with comedy that,as expected, worked on all levels, just as panto should do. Well worth your hard earned luka this Christmas.

Peter Pan is on until Sunday 12 January 2014

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