Theatre Royal: Peter Pan
It’s loud, it’s bright and it’s camp. It is Hoff-fully good.
Peter Pan does everything that a Panto should, and it does it brilliantly. There’s something for everyone. Male and female dancers wore costumes that’d interest even the most disengaged parent and the singing, dancing and often rude jokes were top-notch.
The actors were rewarded with an almost non-stop chorus of laughter. They all clearly enjoyed themselves as they delved into the world of improv, joining in with the ensuing hilarity.
Notable performances include the roller-skating Tinkerbell (Isobel Hathaway), the overwhelmingly comic Mimi the Magical Mermaid (Nottingham’s own Su Pollard) and Mr Smee (Ben Nickless) and the charming Barney Harwood as Peter Pan – an appropriate role for a man who’s spent most of his career on children’s television.
However, playing a character halfway between Captain Hook and a parody of himself, David Hasselhoff steals the show. References to his career were common, with Baywatch, Knight Rider and Britain’s Got Talent found throughout the script. Although, there was unfortunately no mention of the SpongeBob SquarePants movie.
The Baywatch theme was played, but unlike the dance floor of everybody’s favourite nightclub, nobody was found swinging their tops around their heads in a drunken stupor.
The audience participation was great. Culminating in a giant party, with even the grumpiest of Dads on their feet singing, clapping and dancing as The Hoff sang tune after tune, turning lyrics into self-referential puns (‘Hoff Stuff’ instead of ‘Hot Stuff’, anyone?).
Peter Pan was massively enjoyable. Its execution wasn’t flawless, but the charismatic cast patched things over with a smile and a gag. Even if you’re not a Panto enthusiast, you should give it a go, get stuck in and see where it takes you. In the worst case scenario, at least you can say you’ve seen The Hoff in person!
Peter Pan runs until Sunday January 12th 2014. For tickets, see here