REVIEW: Peter Pan, Theatre Royal Winchester

There wasn’t an audience member in sight without a smile on their face all the way through Theatre Royal Winchester’s Christmas pantomime, Peter Pan.

Last year’s record-breaking hit Cinderella was a tough act to follow, but the whole cast put on a joyful and highly polished performance of J.M Barrie’s classic children’s story.

It was a laugh a minute on opening night, from Brexit references to as many fish puns as you can fit into a 2 hour show.

But there were some heart-felt moments too, accompanied by beautiful animations and theatrical wizardry which took the audience on a magical flight all the way to Neverland.

Jonathan Hansler was the highlight of the show as Captain Hook, alternating seamlessly between menacing and hilarious.

His deadpan humour and off-the-cuff jokes had the adults in stitches, but it was his fake moustache having a mind of its own and slipping off which most amused the youngsters.

Julian Eardley as Mrs Smee and Ed Thorpe as Smee were a great double act, and their festive rendition of The Twelve Days of Christmas along with Captain Hook was a particular favourite on the night.

Nichole Bird as Peter Pan was a delight, and Eleanor Bennett played Wendy Darling with great sincerity, using her beautiful singing voice to great effect telling bedtime stories to The Lost Boys. There were also strong performances from Indigo Griffiths as feisty leader Tiger Lily and Louise Peters playing a frantic Mrs Darling before transitioning into a shimmering Myrtle the Mermaid.

The main cast were also supported by a fantastic team of local children, who all sung and danced their hearts out.

Judging by the reception on opening night, Peter Pan looks set to dazzle those of all ages throughout the festive season.


Peter Pan runs until January 1.