Viewers of NBC were recently treated to a live broadcast of Peter Pan starring Allison Williams as Peter Pan, Christopher Walken as Captain Hook, Taylor Louderman as Wendy Darling. There were lots of opinions on the production, with celebs openly sharing their opinions on Twitter. Anna Kendrick’s tweets were particularly funny.
This side of the world, we have had a Peter Pan Pantomime on stage for about a month now – a world class production at the Joburg Theatre in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. The pantomime stars Michael Riff Themba as Peter Pan, Joanna Abtzoglou as Wendy Darling and Craig Urbani as Captain Hook, directed by legend Janice Honeyman and produced by theatre maverick, Bernard Jay.
I saw the pantomime on opening night on 8th November, and it is a really good production. The show runs until 28th December and will be broadcast on Mnet in January 2015. Here’s 8 reasons why you should grab your tickets and catch a performance before it’s too late!
1. Thembsie Matu is hilarious. You know her as uPatience from DSTV’s hilarious ads. She brings that same level of fun and funny we’ve come to love about her, if not more, into her character, Peter Pan’s fairy, Tinkerbell. The result is a Tinkerbell we can relate to, but with magic that takes us to that place of magic wands, fairytales and everything-is-possible.
3. Craig Urbani slips into the role of Captain Hook skilfully, with ease. He’s a natural and it’s a pleasure to watch. He is an experienced performer and that comes across with every execution of the script. He’s so good I bet you most of the kids think he is a real villain, even the adults too.
4. It’s an Immaculate production. So immaculate that theatre savant Chris Avant-Smith, after the show, said, that it is the best produced pantomime he has ever been to. Avant-Smith has been in theatre for over twenty years producing, directing and acting. He knows what he’s talking about.
5. Live Music: This, I always love about Joburg Theatre, that they do not skimp on anything when it comes to music. I remember catching Starlight Express and there being a live music band, a really good one. Maestro Roelof Colyn conducts the live band in the pit, and they churn out the hits effortlessly, not a key, string or pluck out of place.
7. The Peter Pan script is been localised. This is what I love most about theatre, that it can be a tool for social commentary and the panto is that, on some level. The script takes a dig at topical issues across the board. This bit is obviously made for adults.
8. Participatory Theatre is a gem for children, they (and some of the adults) were living! The aaah’s, the boo’s, the hisses and the short lines the audience had to perform. And then there was the scratch and sniff thingie-bobs. Lessons galore for baby sitters.
9. The choice of songs is great. From Defying Gravity to Shut Up and Drive to Don’t Stop Believing, songs are balanced and the entire audience can relate to the show.
Treat your family to the pantomime before the show closes. Purchase your tickets here>>>
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