It isn't always easy squeezing a traditional dame into Peter Pan, especially if you are following the JM Barrie narrative line pretty closely. However, the doyen of the species Chris Harris, now in his 13th year donning the frocks as well as directing at the Theatre Royal, Bath, fits like a well-worn glove. He alternates between Governess Gertie and pirate Ship's Cook, in a production that rises engagingly above its identity crisis over whether to be a musical or a pantomime.
None of the darker elements of Peter Pan have been jettisoned, whether it is Jessica Punch's lonely hero musing that to die would be an awfully big adventure, or Joanna Forest's demure Wendy suffering the pangs of first love.
In contrast, Cliff Parisi is more gentle than most as Captain Hook, despite being introduced to the pounding music of Carl Orff's Carmina Burana. Jon Monie, who plays Smee with a dead parrot on his shoulder, seems to be auditioning for the London revival of Monty Python's Flying Circus, and in a production more adult than usual, the speciality spot by the Nitwits, and the flying scenes from Flying By Foy, are particularly impressive