| 1.4°C Dublin

Flying high with peter paN panto

the Gaiety is staging Peter Pan for the first time in its long history this Christmas.

It's a production not to be missed, starring Johnny Ward (27), who most recently played the role of Pauley in Love/Hate until he was shoved over a balcony.

The Dubliner shows his versatility as an actor by managing to hold the audience spellbound in the lead role as Peter Pan, singing and dancing, not to mention flying through the air during the performance.

The technical expertise behind this show, overall, is impressive, particularly the lighting and special effects.

One scene featured the flight of Peter and Wendy (played by Amy O'Dwyer) to the Neverland Island, and a backdrop of changing images, really made it look as if they were flying above the earth.

The kids loved the 'baddie', Captain Hook, played with some degree of relish by Nicholas Grennell, and he was supported with his merry band of pirates, including Smee, played by Donncha O'Dea.

And panto veteran Joe Conlan did not disappoint in the comedic Dame Nana role, including one very funny scene with a wrecking ball.

Tinkerbell - who in the panto is jealous of Peter Pan's affections for Wendy - is played by Sarah Bradley.

Director and choreographer Daryn Crosbie this year took on the role of script writer this year. The music is, of course, a very important part of any panto, and as you would expect, it features songs that were popular during the year.


Let it Go from Frozen was one of the highlights for all the young girls in the audience. And, of course, there is no escaping Pharrell Williams catchy tune Happy.

The Billie Barry kids took part in the show again this year - it's the 44th consecutive appearance for the stage school.

For many families, the panto spells the arrival of the festive season. But the night we were there, a young couple in front were there on a date, and they were dancing gleefully when the adults were given the chance to strut their stuff to Meghan Trainor's All About that Bass.

Attending the panto is all about making memories.

Caroline Downey is the producer of the show. Extra performances have been added, so it is now running until Sunday 25th January.

If you get the chance, go see it. HHHHH