Culture / theatre

Hooking you in

16 December 2022

Fairy dust, flying over rooftops, mermaids, pirates and a healthy topping of double entendre – it can only mean one thing – Panto season is here the Fairfield Halls Croydon with ‘The Further Adventures of Peter Pan – The Return of Captain Hook’.

Last time a Peter Pan story visited our borough was back in 2013/2014 – with Eastenders bad boy, Phil Mitchell (Steve McFadden) as Captain Hook. As this current adventure is the return of Captain Hook, it seems fitting that another Eastender villain, Ricky Champ, should fill the boots of this no good Pirate. What a fantastic piece of casting it is too. Delivered with snarling disdain, plenty of humour and a wicked streak to send the audience into a series of boos and hisses. Exactly what you want from Panto’s bad boy.

The story is set years after Peter Pan (played by David Ribi – best known as the presenter of Channel 5’s ‘Milkshake’) defeats Captain Hook, sending him to an unpleasant death in the belly of his nemesis, the crocodile… or so they thought…

Tick-tock, tick-tock, the years roll by, and all this time Captain Hook has been plotting his revenge. He manages to trick Smee, played by Mark Rhodes (Crackerjack and Sam & Mark’s Big Friday Wind-up) into letting him join his crew of ex-pirates come good, only to declare mutiny on the high seas and put his dastardly plan into action. 

Can Peter Pan, Tinker Bell (Gemma Hunt) and Wendy’s great-great-great granddaughter Emily (Ohaana Greaves) save the day? Well you’ll just have to watch and see.

‘The Further Adventures of Peter Pan – The Return of Captain Hook’ delivers everything you’d expect from a Pantomime but with extra sparkle. There is an extensive cast and ensemble in fabulous costumes, full of song, gags and merriment. The pirate crew, with their slapstick antics is the icing on a dazzling show that also features children from TEAM Dance Academy and Bright Sparks Performers Theatre & Dance Academy who make this show such a delightful experience. 

As with every Pantomime, you get your full fix of ‘He’s behind you’ ‘Oh no he isn’t’ plus a fantastic scattering of pop songs with cleverly rewritten lyrics throughout. A favourite of mine was the Mermaid Disco scene. 

This is a show that will make you smile, laugh, sing and dance. Perfect for the kids and adults too and importantly – the perfect ray of sunshine in our not so sunny climate. 

‘The Further Adventures of Peter Pan – The Return of Captain Hook’ is at The Fairfield Halls until 31 December 2022. 

For more information and to book tickets visit the Fairfield Halls website.

Photos by Elliot Franks, courtesy of the Fairfield Halls.

Posted by Angela

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