LatestReviewsPeter Pan at the London Palladium

"A sensational, glittering triumph of a pantomime"
11 December 2023100/10047713 min
Opening Night
9 December 2023
Running Time
2hrs 25mins
Age
12+
Overall Score
Rating Overview
Staging
100%
Choreogrpahy
100%
Acting
100%
Music
100%
Rating Summary
A sensational, glittering triumph of a pantomime on the Palladium stage once again. A pantomime packed full of smut, laugh out loud moments and yes there is a plot! A standout stellar performance from Julian Clary and Jennifer Saunders, not to forget Gary Wilmot, Paul Zerdin and Rob Madge.

Peter Pan’s spectacular performance at the London Palladium, attended by Matinée Dog (9 December 2023), was an enchanting journey into Neverland. Palpable anticipation and excitement set the stage for a magical evening that surpassed all our expectations. Featuring a star-studded cast led by Jennifer Saunders and Julian Clary, this eighth edition of the Palladium Panto delivered a visual feast, complete with all new costumes, a dazzling set, and even packed a heartfelt tribute to the late Paul O’Grady.

A Glittering Prelude: The Champagne Experience

Our magical evening commenced with a gracious escort by a Palladium Redcoat to the VIP area, where the atmosphere was set with the effervescent pour of Tattinger, nibbles, a glitzy programme and a private restroom. The decision to indulge in the Champagne Experience proved to be a delightful prelude to the unfolding theatrical masterpiece, if you haven’t treated yourself to a VIP experience at LW Theatre’s before we think this is a must ahead of any performance, it adds that extra sparkle to the evening. Read on to find out more (don’t worry we will try not to add too many spoilers!)

Star-Studded Cast: Awe-Inspiring Performances

Led by the incomparable Jennifer Saunders as Captain Hook and Julian Clary as Seaman Smee. Not to forget an immensely talented cast and ensemble that also includes Gary Wilmot (Mrs Henrieta Cook), Paul Zerdin (Starkey), Nigel Havers (Pirate Nigel), Louis Gaunt (Peter Pan), Rob Madge (Tink) and Frances Mayli McCann (Wendy) also with an array of supporting ensemble and the Timbuktu Tumblers elevated the performance to unparalleled heights. The chemistry and camaraderie among the cast members was beautiful, it contributed to the awe-inspiring performances throughout.

A Visual Feast: From the Overture to Curtain down

A brand new pantomime for the Palladium stage this year, with all new costumes, dazzling set oh and not to forget a mention to the Crocodile(s)! From the moment the overture plays you are transported to Neverland and are in for a magical ride, yes its pantoland afterall. We lost count of Julian’s costume changes but my oh my they were all phenomenal.

A Glittering Triumph of a Show

Our overall impression of this spectacular pantomime was just WOW! From the moment you enter the glitzy audotorium until the moment the curtain comes down you just won’t know where to look! It really was a feast for the eyes all around. In its eight glittering year the Palladium Panto is back with a treat of a show… “oh yes it is”.

Remembering Paul O’Grady

Julian Clary’s touching heartfelt tribute to the late Paul O’Grady, a Pantomime veteran, added a poignant layer to the evening. The heartfelt homage to a legend of stage and screen underscored the camaraderie and respect within the theatrical community.

Simply The Best: Julian Clary

Julian is by far one of the best pantomime legends his adlibbing is nothing short of incredible. Seaman Smee will have you crying with laughter all night long. Not to forget his stunning costumes, smut and quick thinking just makes his performances the most standout this year. We are in awe of Clary’s energy that he brings to the Palladium every Christmas, and Peter Pan is no different. Clary has a way of stepping over that blue line and never coming back!

Magical Narration: Rob Madge as Tink

Rob Madge’s portrayal of Tink was nothing short of spellbinding. Narrating the main plot with flawless precision, Madge’s performance incorporated intentional (or were they?) missteps for added charm. Julian Clary’s adlibbing prowess added a touch of spontaneity, showcasing the best in the business. His rendition of ‘I am what I am’ was masterfully done with incredible choreography and charm.

Saunders Splendour: A Swashbuckling Villain

In her debut pantomime performance, Jennifer Saunders embraced the role of this year’s villain with comedic brilliance. From the swashbuckling theatrics to the clever disguise of “Sweetie Darling,” Saunders added a memorable and humorous dimension to the evening. We especially loved the disguise “Sweetie Darling” which brought back Edina Monsoon from Absolutely Faboulous, a wonderful touch packing even more comedy, great to see a villain enjoy the show as much as us all. A swashbuckling feast for all.

A Dame Unlike Any Other: Gary Wilmot Shines Again

Gary, as many of you know is a legend of pantomimes and shows alike across the country! Playing Captain Hook’s mum Mrs Henrietta Cook this year he shone through with beautiful charm and charisma. Wilmot’s new song this year all about shopping was mind-blowing. We always look forward to Gary gracing the stage at the Palladium and he did not let us down.

His lips don’t move Zerdin!

Paul Zerdin is a delight to watch on stage as always. Sam, Zerdin’s trusty companion just makes you smile throughout, we love that thier costumes always match! One cheeky little joke we can let slip is “Sam, whats got into you tonight” in which the quickest response ever slips out “Your hand” the audience was in hysterics! Grandad also makes an apperance this year which was an added bonus. Zerdin ended the show with some children on stage which made it a real pantomime masterpiece.

A Pantomime Diamond! Not to Be Missed

Peter Pan at the London Palladium was a theatrical gem that transcended expectations. Matinée Dog left the Palladium with hearts full of enchantment, having witnessed a performance that seamlessly blended talent, visual splendour, and a magical heartfelt tribute. This rendition of the Palladium Panto is undoubtedly a must-see for theatre enthusiasts and newcomers alike. We are already excited for next year’s edition, noting the magic “will return for its ninth spellbinding season” we will be there, will you?

A truly magical pantomime, Peter Pan runs at the Palladium until 14 January 2024, best availibiliy in January, book now for this swashbuckling adventure you would hate to miss. You can book direct with LW here.

If we could give this show SIX STARS we would! Are you planning on seeing the show, seen the show already? Please leave your comments for all to see below.

*Copyright: Photos by Matinée Dog, Cast Images by Crossroads (Production Headshots) 2023

Adam Richards

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