Regal Entertainments’ Peter Pan is Strictly the best panto in the land – oh yes it is!

Strictly Come Dancing star Kristina Rihanoff stars as Tinkerbell in Peter Pan at St Helens Theatre Royal. Photo: David Munn Photography.

It’s Strictly the best panto in the land – oh yes it is!

When it comes to panto, Regal Entertainments always pull it out of the bag and this year’s offering – Peter Pan at St Helens Theatre Royal – is no exception.

The stars of the show are Strictly Come Dancing’s Kristina Rihanoff who waltzes, tangoes and rhumbas onto the stage in a vision of glittery green as the mischievous fairy Tinker Bell with dazzling dance moves.

She stars alongside Liverpool’s very own Corrie and Brookie star, Louis Emerick, who has the audience hooked as the handsome but dastardly Captain Hook. In his own words… “You would, wouldn’t you?!!”

And back by popular demand are St Helens’ favourites Lewis Devine and Si Foster. Lewis puts the Pan in Pantastic with his energetic performance as the boy who never grew up – who flies into the theatre and takes us on a magical adventure to Neverland with plenty of audience participation along the way: “When I say Peter…..”

There is nothing like a dame – especially when she’s played by Si Foster who excels as the cheeky ship’s cook Mrs Smee with her outrageous outfits and double entendres which have the audience howling. The image of her in her Baywatch bathing suit will stay with me for quite some time…

Meanwhile, Georgina Parkinson is delightful as Wendy Darling and Abigail Middleton makes for a fearless Tiger Lily. A special mention must go to the super talented younger cast members including the dancers and the loveable Lost Boys.

I thought the whole production was magical – from the dazzling costumes and catchy songs to the comedy capers such as the hilarious synchronised swimming scene.

But it’s not all about me – it’s all about the kids – and they loved it too! I took three very excitable youngsters with me to see the Christmas panto and they screamed themselves hoarse throughout the show with all the usual boos and hisses and “he’s behind yous” that we’ve come to love and expect.

They especially loved Tinkerbell who brings a sprinkle of magical fairy dust to the role with a pouty, sulky teenager edge! She was Daddy’s favourite too funnily enough…..

I have to say, Regal Entertainments always tick all the right boxes when it comes to good value, traditional family entertainment – but with a modern twist.

This year, they have taken it up a notch with some spectacular scenery – the flying scene over London being particularly mesmerising. And there’s an amazing 3D underwater scene too – which had the kids screaming with laughter and led nicely to the earworm of the moment – altogether now… Baby shark, doo doo doo doo doo doo…

I’ll leave that irritating earworm with you, but before I go, I’d just like to congratulate theatre manager Chantelle Nolan and the crew and recommend you take the family on a swashbuckling adventure full of pirates, fairies, lost boys, Indians, and of course, one tick-tocking croc, in this timeless classic tale about the Boy Who Never Grew Up.

Peter Pan is open now and runs until Sunday 13th January 2019. Tickets from £12. For more information visit www.sthelenstheatreroyal.com