Peter Pan Comes To The Sunderland Empire

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I haven’t been to a panto in years. In fact, I can’t actually remember the last panto I went too, it’s been THAT long! Fortunately for me, I was kindly invited along to this year’s panto at the Sunderland Empire, Peter Pan. Tis the season to be jolly after all!

I decided to take my two nieces along with me, one’s five and the other is four. They were super excited to witness the magic on stage! They’re of an age now where they can sit still for more than 2 minutes and find themselves engrossed in a film. On Tuesday evening we headed along for a festive evening of fun!

I LOVE the Sunderland Empire, it has so much character and history to it. Located on High Street West in the city centre. The theatre, which opened in 1907, is owned by City of Sunderland Council and operated by Ambassador Theatre Group Ltd, on behalf of Sunderland Empire Theatre Trust.

Peter Pan is in the city until 6 January 2019 so prepare yourselves to be hooked when award-winning actor Jamie Lomas (most famously known in Hollyoaks and I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here) takes to the stage as the frightening Captain Hook, CBBC’s Richard McCourt, known as the better half from Dick and Dom as Hooks handy man Smee, Melanie Walters from BBC’s BAFTA-winning series ‘Gavin and Stacey’ as Mrs Darling and West End actor Josh Andrews (Cats, Book of Mormon and 42nd Street) as Peter Pan. A total star-studded cast!

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Martin Dodd for UK Productions brings another exciting pantomime adventure to Sunderland, with laughs-a-plenty, live music, and audience participation guaranteed!

Further casting includes Lauren Ferreira as Tinkerbell, Ruth Betteridge as Wendy and Inez Mackenzie as Tiger Lily. The Pirate Crew include Alex Middlebrook, Morgan Chambers and William Beckerleg as the fabulous comedy acrobatics, The Nitwits. Joined by the ensemble, Anna Greenwell, Natasha Hair, Alexandria Patterson, Emily Seward and Emily Beach.

Local performers from Kathleen Davis Stage School, Shameem Karim School of Performing Arts, The Worx and Northern Star Theatre Arts and The Worx were successful in auditions earlier in the year and shared the stage in the roles of the Village Children and the Lost Boys.

The show has been directed by Jimmy Johnston, with Choreography from Phylida Crowley Smith and Stephen Roberts as Musical Director.

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I have to admit, I was most excited about watching the nations hunk, Jamie Lomas. Jamie to me will always be nasty Warren Fox from Hollyoaks, which is ironic since he’s playing Hook in this show, he’s just good at playing the bad guy! He lived up to my expectations as Hook and played a fantastic part! Richard McCourt and his one-liners kept all of us adults chuckling away, even the dad jokes!  

The show as a whole was wonderful and so magical for the kids. Peter Pan even flies into the crowd which had my two nieces mesmerised! The scenes throughout the production were extremely authentic and quite frankly like something out of a Disney amination. 

Panto really is for all of the family, especially this one! There are just different elements throughout the production that appeals to all ages. There was quite a musical theme throughout the show but it was in such a modern way, the cast sang a few charts topping tunes midst the acting which was really fitting for each scene and kept the kids particiapating having a sing along.  If you’re out and about in Sunderland make sure you hook your tickets now and join Peter Pan, Wendy and the Darlings, the Lost Boys, Tinker Bell and not forgetting the infamous Captain Hook and Smee for shiploads of festive fun!

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Tickets available from the Box Office on High Street West, via the ticket centre 0844 871 3022 or Booking and transaction fees may apply to telephone and online bookings.

*We attended the Pantomime on Press Night and received complimentary tickets for review purposes.

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