The Further Adventures of Peter Pan The Return of Captain Hook

Location: The Anvil, Basingstoke

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By Tim Saunders

Refreshingly, Peter Pan remains the boy who never grows up while Wendy has aged - she’s 104 now – in The Further Adventures of Peter Pan The Return of Captain Hook at The Anvil, Basingstoke. You’re never quite sure what to expect at the theatre these days and so it’s pleasing and indeed reassuring that that part of the tale remains… for now…

Roller-skating Tinker Bell (Holly Atterton) has all the moves and is a good singer, too (Go!Go!Go!). The audience is mesmerised to see Peter Pan actually flying. Flames appear at the side of the stage - you can feel the heat even in the rows near the back. This is what theatre is all about, spectacular moments. For us though, the strongest character has to be Captain Hook (Chris Fearn) – he has strong stage presence and holds our attention.

“I liked Smee (Chris Pizzey, Director) who kept going to the toilet,” says son Henry (7). “I enjoyed hearing Blue Moon,” adds wife Caroline, who like us all appreciated the dancing.

The pirates with their water pistols are another highlight and we all enjoy their acrobatics in the second half.

Emily, Wendy’s granddaughter is yet another mobile phone addict and when Peter greets her he says, “If you don’t look up, you can’t see.” Here here. I question why it is necessary to include this, Nigel Farage and train strikes in a pantomime when the joy used to be to escape reality for a couple of hours and laugh uncontrollably.

Until Dec 31 at The Anvil, Basingstoke.