REVIEW: This year's pantomime Peter Pan kicked off the Christmas festivities in style

Croydon Guardian: Captain Hook and Mrs Smee (pic credit: Fraser Ashford) Captain Hook and Mrs Smee (pic credit: Fraser Ashford)

As far as Christmas preparations go, seeing this year’s pantomime was pretty much perfect.

I admit I bloody love this time of the year, so going along to see Peter Pan, my first panto in more than a decade filled me with that good old festive joy.

Pantomimes can get a bit of a bad press now and again, I have heard a few horror stories of some which have been cheesier than Cliff Richard’s latest album.

But I needn’t have worried, it was probably one of the best pantos I have seen.

An excellent cast led by Eastenders star Steve McFadden, clever jokes, a bit of slapstick and some catchy songs meant I was constantly entertained along with the rest of the audience.

Let me warn you now, whether you are six years old or sixty years old, make sure you get involved in the banter, otherwise you may find yourself in the spotlight.

The show kicks off with Wendy, played by the impressive Elizabeth Carter, singing a powerful solo.

We are then taken into the home of the Darlings and before we know it the magnificent Dame, Quinn Patrick is bounding on stage and the laughter begins.

There are some fantastic slapstick moments which took me back to when I saw Brian Blessed play Captain Hook at the Fairfield Halls in my primary school days and his trousers split. I am not going to give the game away for this show but it certainly had me in stitches.

Talking of Hook, Steve McFadden is fantastic in the show. If I had to describe it I would say imagine a camper version of Phil Mitchell.

David Ribi, starring as Peter Pan, has a great vocal range and has charm and wit which gets the crowd on his side.

As mentioned already, Quinn Patrick is a very funny dame but a special mention must also go Nathaniel Morrison who, as you will find out, takes dramatic to a whole new level.

The songs are great and contain a mixture of old and new numbers and the classic panto ‘he’s behind you’ gags are aplenty.

To put it simply, get yourself a ticket, be merry and let this year’s panto fill you with festive cheer.

Peter Pan, Fairfield Halls, Park Lane, Croydon, December 6 to January 5, various times, £13 to £28, family ticket £87, www.fairfield.co.uk or phone 02086889291.

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