Peter Pan – Christmas In Neverland

Neverland arrived at the Arena Birmingham last night, and created a whole magical aura that filled the stadium with awe and laughter. The World’s biggest panto was back in town, and this year the story was that of Peter Pan, Christmas in Neverland. This meant the huge auditorium was home to a fantastic pirate ship manned by the divine Martin Kemp as the most delectable Captain Hook ever, with Bradley Walsh leading the crew in suitably hilarious fashion. Yes, this was the traditional story of Peter Pan, but not as you’ve ever seen it before.

I have to say that the Arena Birmingham show is a true spectacle, an exquisite experience with  a cast of over 100 performers, including a thrilling team of BMX riders, stuntmen and trapeze artists, along with a seven-metre-long animatronic crocodile!  The show cleverly combines all the traditional aspects of panto, the songs, the acting, the comedy, a hero and heroine, a great baddy and comedy sidekick. But it then adds elements of circus, animatronics and fire and water displays. It also makes the show truly interactive by getting the audience involved with water fights and the key battle against Hook with cannonballs flying all over the auditorium.

The Jolly Roger Galleon is fabulous, allowing the audience to get really close to the action. Another plus is that from any position in the audience, you are close to the action, with a giant 60 feet-wide LED screen, computer graphic imagery and a live close-up TV-relay ensuring never a moment is missed.

Bradley Walsh is super funny as Smee, with so many one liners that have the audience rolling with laughter. One particular scene where he attempts to walk, talk and sneer like a pirate is so, so funny, I was in tears. He is well matched by Martin Kemp, totally hamming it up as the evil Captain Hook, with the scene where his crew dance to Spandau Ballet songs totally brilliant – straight over the head of the kids in the room, but raising lots of laughs from their parents.

Peter Pan – Christmas in Neverland is only at the Arena Birmingham until Christmas Eve, so grab a ticket now.

PETER PAN- CHRISTMAS IN NEVERLAND

20-24 December, Arena Birmingham

www.worldsbiggestpanto.com

 

Peter Pan – Christmas In Neverland Is Coming Soon To The Arena Birmingham

The Worlds Biggest Pantomime is back in Birmingham for a host of new Christmas shows this December. The latest show is ‘PETER PAN- CHRISTMAS IN NEVERLAND’, a stunning new spectacular super-sized for the Arena Birmingham stage. It promises to be a stunning, unmissable Christmas spectacle that is not to be missed, whether you are seven or seventy!

PETER PAN – CHRISTMAS IN NEVERLAND stars Bradley Walsh as Mr Smee, Martin Kemp as Captain Hook and Matt Knight as Peter Pan. Bradley says: “I’m so excited to be appearing in PETER PAN. It really is an extraordinary production, the like of which has never been seen before!  It has a life-size galleon, a 25 foot crocodile, plus a cast of over 100!  It’s a big, bold arena extravaganza and a festive treat with something for everyone.

J.M. Barries original story and characters will be brought to life in PETER PAN – CHRISTMAS IN NEVERLAND, by a cast of over 100 performers, including a thrilling team of BMX riders, stuntmen and trapeze artists, along with a seven-metre-long animatronic crocodile! This amazing new show will be performed across three arena stages on a stunning movie-style Neverland set.  The Jolly Roger Galleon will sail around the arena in front of a 10,000-gallon water wall.  From any position in the audience, you are close to the action, with a giant 60 feet-wide LED screen, computer graphic imagery and a live close-up TV-relay ensuring never a moment is missed.

 PETER PAN – CHRISTMAS IN NEVERLAND is directed by Jon Conway, designed by Wellington Scenic, with lighting design by Jamie Corbidge and sound design by Dave Shepherd, and is presented by arrangement with Great Ormond Street Hospital Childrens Charity & Samuel French Ltd.

PETER PAN- CHRISTMAS IN NEVERLAND

 20-24 December, Arena Birmingham

 Tickets for the new Arena Birmingham show are on general sale from 9am 17 November 2017 from www.theticketfactory.com or by calling 0844 33 88 222 *Calls cost 7p per minute plus your phone company’s access charge.  Tickets for all other performances are on sale now.  Tickets priced at £27.90/£41.40/£52.20/£60.30 (Prices include admin fees and 90p facility fee) + £2.55 fulfilment fee per order.

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The World’s Biggest Panto may just be the greatest ever

It has been billed as the World’s biggest panto, the only one that could boast of a cast of 100, an award winning gospel choir and a Bollywood dance troop. Cinderella opened in Birmingham at the Barclaycard Arena on Sunday night and it is totally wowing audiences with his mixture of panto, circus, dance and song. It is more than a mere pantomime, it may well be the ultimate Christmas spectacle. I was spellbound.

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We all know the story of Cinderella so I don’t think I’m spoiling the surprise for anyone when I say all the elements of the original story are in place, albeit with a slight twist in the tale. The handsome prince and his trusty sidekick Dandini are played by Dick and Dom with lots of verve and fun, and plenty of bogie mentions. The ugly sisters are very ugly indeed, as played by Brum faves, Foxy and Giuliano from Free Radio, all local jokes and stubble, whilst Hannah Grover is a perfect Cinders, pretty, pert and with the voice of an angel.

But of course, there are two comedy stalwarts in this panto, and they both absolutely shine like true stars. Paul O Grady is just hilarious, as dry and acerbic as ever as The (Fairy) Godfather, from the minute he flies in he has the audience captive, especially in a scene with a rather wonderful (talking…well sort of) horse, or when he scares off a 3d snake with a ‘Birkenhead headbutt’.  He makes a wonderful double act with the brilliant Bradley Walsh, playing Buttons and literally holding the whole thing together with his wit and wisecracks. No one is safe from Walsh, not even a little boy taking a toilet trip. This is a performer at his peak, making that huge stage is own.

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Cinderella is the most fun you will have this Christmas, warm and funny, and full of traditional Christmas cheer, from familiar songs, singing and dancing reindeers, polar bears and penguins, even with snowballs that bounce around the auditorium. As I mentioned in the introduction, the whole performance is a spectacle – from Bollywood Dreams singing and dancing to Slade, to the fantastic Birmingham Community Gospel Choir totally wowing with their amazing voices and gutsy performances. There were also fantastic feats performed circus style and the 3d effects which added to the all-round feeling that you were witnessing something truly special.

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With a finale that could be bottled and sold as Christmas, this is truly one of the greatest shows the Barclaycard Arena has seen. I loved every single minute of it. An absolute must see.

Cinderella has two performances per day concluding on Christmas Eve. Find Ticket information here.