Verne Troyer is this year's Hollywood name in local panto
I feel I was a bit spoilt by last year's Wimbledon panto, Cinderella, as Peter Pan doesn't quite have the same 'wow' factor.
Hollywood film star and TV personality Verne Troyer and British comedian Marcus Brigstocke make their pantomime debuts in this year's panto, and I'm sure both will more fully embrace their roles as the run continues.
While the first half of the show was fun, some of its most memorable aspects were the eye-dazzling backdrops and the thumping music.
I couldn't quite warm to the Darling family who were whisked off to Neverland by an enthusiastic Peter Pan, played by George Ure.
Once there, we met New Zealand comedian Jarred Christmas in the role of Smee. Some of his one-liners were highly predictable, but as the show went on he came more into his own and managed to amuse panto-goers of all ages.
Verne Troyer is renowned for his role as Mini-Me in the Austin Powers film series, and we'd have been disappointed if this went without a mention. We weren't let down!
Playing the role of Lofty, a pirate who was promoted to the role of Captain Hook's assistant, his best part of the show came in the infectious performance of a Beyonce number with Brigstocke and Christmas.
In fact, if you like your song and dance routines, you won't be let down by this panto. The 12 Days of Christmas song (below) was the highlight of the evening for me - just watch out for the water guns!
Singer Sharon Ballard, who had a couple of roles as a Red Indian squaw and a mermaid, has an outstanding voice. She bought another touch of magic to the performance.
Street dancers Flawless also caught the eye every time they appeared - culminating in a striking dance in a darkened theatre.
Of course, there's a cheeky Tinkerbell, played by Francesa Mills. Not only does this fairy fly, but she also roller skates!
The second half of the show topped the flatter opening, with some fiery moments also warming the audience up. In truth the traditional Peter Pan plot doesn't come across too clearly. But for many that didn't seem to matter too much, as everyone was up and dancing at the end.
Peter Pan runs at New Wimbledon Theatre to Sunday January 10.
By Sue Choularton
December 10, 2015