Magic fell onto The Playhouse, Weston, on Tuesday 23rd September 2014 as it saw the press launch of this year’s pantomime, Peter Pan.
This panto is extremely special as it’s the first to be directed by The Playhouse itself, with Martin Clevley as the man in the chair, bringing fresh blood to the production.
The Playhouse is happy to welcome Dean Gaffney (EastEnders) as Hook and Gemma Bissix (EastEnders and Hollyoaks) as Mrs Darling, just one of three parts she plays.
Alongside these two actors is Jordan Fox, our flying Peter Pan in this, his first panto. Sophie Adams is the beautiful Wendy Darling, who seems thrilled at the prospect of playing our heroine for the first time. We also have the South West’s very own Steve Bennett as Panto Dame, in the part of Mrs Smee.
This pantomime sees Dean Gaffney in his first baddie role, a challenge that he is excited about, particularly the hissing and booing bits!
Peter Pan also welcomes the talents of two different dance schools, bringing to the stage 60 children, to thrill and amaze the audience.
Whilst at the press launch we were able to get a sneaky peek of what is to come in Peter Pan and it does look amazing, especially as the cast had only two hours to get the snippet ready for the Friends of The Playhouse to view. They performed so well together and found their feet impressively easily.
Peter Pan reminds its audience of magical childhood memories, like wanting to be Wendy or one of the Lost Boys or maybe dreaming of joining Hook on his adventure to catch that boy and the crocodile.
While interviewing many of the cast members we were told what to expect – plenty of flying and some tumble dancers too! We got to ask the cast a few questions and one that I put to them was ‘Who would you like to act alongside in future pantos?’I really did have quite a few different answers, from Johnny Depp to David Jason.
Many of the stars in this 2014 production have appeared on TV, so I asked how different their telly/stage experiences are. Dean Gaffney loved the positivity and challenges of facing a fresh audience in every single show.
I felt honoured to be there and I know that the 2014 will be one of the greatest pantomime performances the The Playhouse has witnessed.
Thanks to the cast for sharing the magic – Roll on December! Let’s keep it alive. I do believe in fairies, I do, I do, I do …
Peter Pan runs at The Playhouse, Weston, from 11 December till 4th Jan
– By Ashlene Bishop