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It was the first time an entertaining father and son team had set foot on stage together and they were certainly a highlight of this year's Lichfield Garrick's production of Peter Pan.
BAFTA-winning children's presenter Barney Harwood took to the city stage as Peter Pan with his father, children's entertainer, and seasonal Garrick favourite, Barnaby, playing his enemy Captain Hook's faithful sidekick Smee. Smee proved to be a firm favourite with my five-year-old son because he made him laugh so much, with Peter Pan, who flew over the audience dropping fairy dust, a firm second favourite.
As well as plenty of flying antics, lots of singing, pyrotechnics, loud cannon-style bangs and smoke machines helped to add to the atmosphere of this quality family production against a backdrop of quality sets.
It runs until January 9.
He’s the star of the CBBC shows Bear Behaving Badly and Prank Patrol. Now Barney Harwood is entertaining children of all ages in the Lichfield Garrick pantomime.
The likeable Harwood gives a good performance as the boy who never grows up, demonstrating a more than adequate singing voice. Harwood particularly revels in the ‘flying’ scenes, enjoying mingling with the audience and dropping so-called fairy dust into the arena.
He doesn’t have Nev the Bear for company this time around, but he does have dad Barnaby. A Garrick panto veteran, Barnaby, as Smee, provides the majority of laughs and one-liners. He forms a brilliant partnership with the writer and director Ian Adams, who plays both Mr Darling and the villainous Captian Hook. The cabin routine is particularly well-written and delivered.
And there’s lots of lovely Lolly in the form of the 90s ‘Mickey’ pop star, aka Anna Kumble who proved her versatility with a fine singing voice as the housemaid Liza and Tiger Lily.
And, while all the cast can be commended for the roles they clearly enjoyed playing, special mention must be made to Lisa-Marie Holmes. She doubled up as Mrs Darling and the Mermaid, but has magical vocals. Wendy played by Lisa Holliman, was note perfect throughout.
Special effects allowed Tinkerbell to be an integral part of the plot, while the show ended with a wonderful medley, from Fame, to Crocodile Rock and I Will Survive – all one in traditional panto style, of course.
Peter Pan runs until January 9.
The curtains went up last night and we got to see the eagerly awaited Peter Pan at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre.
This spectacular production starring the CBBC presenter Barney Harwood as the boy who never grows old, Barnaby (his dad) as Midshipman Smee, Ian Adams as the dastardly Captain Hook and many local, new and experienced performers.
The show is far more than a pantomime the production has been put together to mimic a full blown West End musical, but still keeps the essential mix needed to keep the children and adults smiling and laughing all the way through.
The Garrick is brought alive with some great special effects that bring Peter Pan right in to the middle of the audience flying all around the theatre.
The big singing and dancing numbers brings the show alive and gets the audience participation, and the quick sharp one liners from Barnaby reminds us we are at the pantomime.
So if you want to see a few hundred children giggle and laugh out loud for a few hours, see some great musical numbers and enthusiastic performers then don't miss this great production.
Starting in black and white with a series of London songs outside the Darlings' house, this sumptuous show, seemingly inspired by those great old MGM musicals, suddenly bursts into glorious colour.
Ian Adams, the writer/director - and an excellent Captain Hook to boot - has, along with producer and musical supremo Adrian Jackson, managed to achieve that most difficult of Peter Pan balancing acts - presenting a faithful telling of the original story, while making it fun for all ages.
Driven by cleverly textured musical arrangements, it's a big, bold, classy production that at times seems to be crying out for a bigger home. It certainly wouldn't look out of place in a major theatre, even in the West End.
Barney Harwood, as Peter Pan, sings as he glides over the audience and makes the whole aerial operation look effortless, as do all those involved in the flying sequences. The sets and costumes are lavish and the props ingenious, though a bigger and more fearsome crocodile wouldn't go amiss. This show borders on good, old-fashioned pantomime in places, especially in scenes involving regular Garrick funnyman Barnaby as Smee - but mostly it is simply a joyous, fun-filled family musical.