Emerging out from under the skirt of the expected panto dame, Peter Pan - the Swashbuckling Pantomime Adventure has no such drag act and Peter is played by a boy. This is more fairy tale adventure than pantomime but it's none the worse for that and, although it begins slowly, this Peter Pan is soon flying,
Adam Woodyatt relishes being a campy cockney Hook and the audience obviously love him, giving him an impromptu round of applause. Samuel Parker is a spritely Pan while Abigail Matthews as Wendy admirably manages to avoid being prissy, instead giving a plucky turn as the girl Neverland adopts as its mother. Suzie McAdam is a gutsy Tinkerbell and as narrator, Eliza, Tiger Lilly, pirate cabin boy and general good egg, Kerris Peeling is instantly likeable.
Both she and Neal Wright as Smee have the best audience interaction, with their catchphrases actually getting stuck in my head. Wright is delicious as Smee, the pirate who wanted to be a pop star, and the whole thing just about manages to transcend the sentimentality that threatens to overthrow it and be jolly good fun.
This is a spirited night out all in all, although the addition of a Skype advert within the show is shameful and points to a rather worrying future trend.