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Theatre Review: The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan ***

Michael Cox reviews a production that's 'perfectly fine' but 'not a vintage year'.

Down at the Festival Theatre is the annual ‘Allan Stewart and Grant Stott Comedy Show’, which this year is called The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan for the simple reasons that it has pirate-themed designs and the occasional cameo from Peter Pan, Wendy and Tinker Bell (called Tink here).

Neverland’s fairy dust is disappearing, and Tink has flown Wendy back to help Peter save the day. Will these classic characters succeed? Will Peter ever fly again? Will Hook actually stay dead?

Who cares, especially as writers of the script clearly don’t. The point of the production isn’t to consider JM Barrie’s timeless creation but to give an excuse for Stewart, Stott and Jordan Young to strut along the stage.

And for the most part, it works. Stewart and Stott have been doing this for years: they know the comedic beats the audience expects, and their combined banter is always a pleasure to watch. Young has become a welcome addition to the team, as has Clare Gray (the daughter of the much-missed Andy Gray), who has proven herself to be an equal instigator and collaborator in Stewart and Stott’s shenanigans.

This year’s show is perfectly fine: it’s funny and has enough razzle-dazzle to enchant those wanting a theatrical escape: but it is not a vintage year. It also says a lot when one of the best jokes is the acknowledgement that the actor playing the title character doesn’t even feature on the rather busy poster. But no matter: Stewart, Stott, Young and Gray are delivering enough fun to get away with it.

The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan performs at the Festival Theatre in Edinburgh until December 31, 2023.


Tags: theatre

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