“COME fly with me” invite three attractive young dancers at the opening of the Bourton Players’ highly original 2020 pantomime.
But health and safety isn’t having any of it. No flying in the village hall, say Alf Warning (Linda Curry) and his incompetent sidekick Sid Down (Emma Martin). They don’t want anyone flying – or going underwater, or jumping out of windows or wearing a hook, or …. just about anything that you expect in Peter Pan.
Pity the poor Director (Daphne Knott) as the jobsworths settle down to pick holes in every aspect of her production.
This year’s Bourton show is a classic village panto, with local jokes, and parts for everyone, familiar faces and new ones, old regulars and new talent.
Everybody’s favourite has to be Dale Langford’s improbable and hilarious Tinkerbell – a big man, with a big beard and a big voice and big feet, a sparkly tiara, a whispy pink wand and a fluffy pink tutu. He is constantly chivied by his rather less flamboyant assistant Periwinkle, (Poppy Bowen), who frowns and tuts and adjusts her spectacles and bosses her charge around. But this Tinkerbell has a few tricks, bringing a touch of magic and stardust to the evening.
All the usual characters are here, with Alex Ross (the dame in recent pantomimes) donning the swashbuckling frock-coat and glamorous wig as Captain Hook, Brigitte Smith as Mr Smee, the multi-talented first mate, Natalia Jupp as Nana the dog, and Kevan Barton as a rather cuddly Crocodile.
The children are older than JM Barrie probably envisaged, allowing Lisa MacBean’s Wendy to be a man-hunter, and providing a lot of laughs with Adrian Bainger’s bearded John and Paul Curry’s Michael sporting a comic ginger wig.
The opening night had an unexpected cast change – Ria Norris, who is playing Peter Pan, was ill, and assistant director Kaz Tribe stepped womanfully into the role and the attractive costumes.
Directed by Heather Ransley, with choreography by Emma Pike, and attractive, imaginative costumes by Debbie Clemie and Lynne Gray, this Peter Pan is a delight. Does Peter fly? You will have to go to Bourton village hall to find out!