BBonnie Lythgoe Productions. State Theatre, Sydney. July 7 – 16, 2017.
The old grandeur of the State Theatre is the perfect venue for this holiday time production, conjuring as it does the past theatre ‘glory’ of the old London theatres where ‘pantos’ still bring cheer to wintery London Christmases.
Slathered with all the buttery corn and slapstick of comedia, and some definitely questionable non-P-C jokes and add libbing, Bonnie Lythgoe’s production of Christopher Woods’ adaptation of J.M. Barrie’s story has the everything one expects of pantomime. There’s fun, colour, lights, singing, dancing … and lots of audience involvement led by the infectious talent of veteran British actor/comedian Kev Orkian as the pirate Smee.
From his first moments on the stage, Orkian has the audience in his very experienced hands, with children and adults alike responding to his jokes and asides. The consummate energy and enthusiasm he exudes sets the zany pace that is pantomime.