DIANE DE BEER
PETER PAN ON ICE
COMPANY: The Imperial Ice Stars who collectively hold more than 250compdetition medals and include 23 former World, European and National Championship-level skaters
PRODUCER and ARTISTIC DIRECTOR/CHOREOGRAPHER: Tony Mercer
VENUE: Teatro at Montecasino
DATES: Until January 11; Tuesday to Friday at 7.30pm; Saturdays 3pm and 7.30pm; Sundays 2pm and 5.30pm
It is the time of year when entertainment takes on different proportions. For many the end of 2019 means sheer exhaustion and what we need is some rollicking fun and whoopee, ESCAPISM in capital letters.
That’s exactly what this one is with accent on family, which is perfect for this time of year. This is when you want to pack the kids into the car and take them for a magical evening to a show that creates a magical wonderland.
It’s not easy to capture the amazement of young and old in one show but the sheer splendour of skillful skating will do it every time. And then to scale it down to fit onto a theatre stage while not diminishing any of the spectacle, is quite something.
The previous shows by this company include Swan Lake on Ice, Sleeping Beauty on Ice and Cinderella on Ice, all of them spectacular in their own right and expect nothing less from this one. Their reputation is firmly established.
Peter Pan is perhaps a more complicated story to tell in this fashion but the company made full use of the inspiring and inspired extras including flight, something that Peter Pan and Tinker Bell do with grace. It’s huge fun including some unexpected innovative figures like a dancing crocodile who is arguably the most popular character on stage – even though he frightened a few of the young ones at first sight.
Perhaps that’s why Captain Hook didn’t seem as ferocious as his reputation predicts and one expected him to be. After all he is the leader of the fearsome pirates!
But this is a great yarn and while perhaps it’s not for the very young, there’s enough action to keep everyone happy. From the astounding and non-stop acrobatics of the full cast, the balletic aerial gymnastics and exquisite flight sequences, which are always fun to watch, the balance between the spectacular and skillful skating and the action sequences with even a fire-on-ice scene for breath-taking dramatic effect are all part of a theatrical presentation.
As the story unfolds, Wendy and her brothers are whisked off by the boy who never grows old and his accomplice, Tinker Bell to Neverland where they meet the Lost Boys, Tiger Lily and some swimming mermaids on the way to a showdown between the good guys (Peter and the gang) and Captain Hook and his pirates.
Towards the end, everyone was in the mood as the champion croc gets them rocking and the magic of Peter Pan and his girl, once again, captured the imagination.
It’s a smart invention, an ice spectacular in a theatre. It keeps it intimate, turns the choreography into something more balletic and up close, while audiences in a sweltering Africa are transported to a completely different world.
Take the leap with them. It’s a way to send of the old and welcome the new!