Peter Pan is Flying High

Photo by Douglas Robertson

To the Festival Theatre stage this winter comes pantomime, Adventures of Peter Pan (25 Nov–31 Dec)

As an Australian, panto is not a tradition I grew up with – but I am a convert to this UK Christmas tradition. Peter Pan was a brilliant family outing. There were laughs, drama and spectacle for everyone. 

The chemistry and fun between the leads: Grant Stott as villainous Hook and Alan Stewart as Aunty May McSmee spread from the stage to the audience. The 25 years they have been performing panto together makes them a well practised and joyous duo to watch. 

Jordan Young (might) ride in on a toilet and sometimes be the butt of the joke -but he is nobody’s fool. A skilled physical thespian who holds his own with Stott and Stewart, and is an audience favourite. 

The dance group Flawless – as Hook’s Pirate Crew were a treat to watch – bringing energy and awe inspiring skill to the Edinburgh audience. As impressive as their dance routines are, one of my favourite moments of the show was them crossing over into the panto universe and facing off against Jordan Young. I won’t tell you who comes up triumphant from their dance-off – I wouldn’t want to spoil the surprise. 

The panto format was familiar, reliable- and often side splittingly funny – just what the doctor ordered on a dark cold night at the tail end of 2023. 

Thanks to the Festival Theatre for the memories (and the ice cream). I will sign off with the kids reviews: 

Finn aged 8 – “Not enough farts”, and Rafa aged 10 – “Peter Pan should have been on the poster”.

With its special effects, set design, beautiful costumes and barrel-loads of laughter, The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan takes the whole family on a magic trip to Neverland.

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