While Peter Pan the panto is playing out to packed audiences at Nottingham’s Theatre Royal, an altogether different performance of the classic story has wowed the crowds at the Capital FM Arena.
Peter Pan: The Never Ending Story promised to be a spectacular show, and with a wide array of impressive stunts and effects, it lived up to its expectations.
Fireworks, fabulous flying sequences - with wires and without - and the clever use of projected interactive video screens had the audience enchanted, as we were whisked into the magical world of Neverland.
The production followed the familiar story of Peter Pan, but instead of the characters having dialogue, the whole show was narrated by the voice of X Factor star Stacey Solomon, as Tinker Bell.
Peter (Sandor Stürbl), Wendy (Lilly-Jane Young)and the rest of the cast communicated only through song- but not specially-written songs for a musical show.
They instead sang an eclectic and sometimes quite surprising selection of pop songs from the last few decades, which ranged from Robbie Williams’ Angels to Madness’ Our House to Rod Stewart’s Sailing.
Though the cast all put in strong vocal performances, it was a slightly strange way of telling the tale and would have made it hard to follow for anybody not familiar with the story.
An opera singing Captain Hook was however, an unusual but amusing way of portraying Peter’s arch nemesis.
The star-billing of the show was of course Stacey Solomon’s Tinker Bell, but this part was seriously under-played.
Though her voice featured throughout, she was actually only on stage for a few minutes in the second half, belting out an excellent rendition of You Raise Me Up, before disappearing again until the finale.
This shouldn’t however take away from a stunning show that had you spellbound.
Reports suggest that it cost over £10m to produce Peter Pan: The Never Ending Story.
It is easy to see where that money was spent, with some incredible stunts and fantastic costumes on display.
The most breath-taking of these was the high-powered fan, well-concealed on the stage, that was used for some of Peter Pan’s amazing flying sequences. The control and grace the stuntman used while flying was beautiful, as he swooped and dived and somersaulted in mid-air.
A special mention needs to be given to the dancers who played the lost boys, indians and pirates. Their street dance meets capoiera style, infused with some stunning acrobatics, left the audience open-mouthed.
The kids in the crowd were also fascinated by the portrayal of the ticking crocodile that ate Hook’s hand.
Several men inside a huge head and green fabric body weaved around the floor, hunting Hook until it eventually got to finish him off!