Reviewed by David Smith
Christies Beach and surrounds can be well pleased that they have the Venture Theatre Company who consistently bring them good live theatre. This production, effectively directed by Luke Wagner and Nicolle Smith, maintains the standard and on opening night brought genuine delight to the audience, especially the youngsters, whom it rightly targeted.
The narrative was well sustained and the entire cast established their familiar characters early, and as a consequence firmly engaged the audience in the rollicking action. Pantomime, melodrama's brash young cousin, doesn't always work but this one did.
Terry O'Neill was a villainous Captain Hook who wove his way skilfully between being scary and funny, nicely assisted by Shelly Carman's entertaining portrayal of Miss Smee who babied him along for much of the time. Lorren Gartland was endearing as an athletic, impish Peter. Her ensemble work was very strong, as she related in particular to both Eryn Kralj's sweet natured Wendy and Emma Kinlock's entertainingly mischievous Tinkerbell. Playing Wendy's brothers, Jake Picken was an earnest John and Tom Lee was very effective and natural as Michael.
Kristy Mundy and Kerrian Mitchell were very funny in their knock-about buffoonery as Hook's dull-witted and aptly named pirates, Line and Sinker. Others to impress were Lucy Marshallsay as Tiger Lily and the very amusing Deb Wheaton in her cameo as Big Chief.
While there were occasional minor problems with radio microphones, the cast did well to keep their focus and energy. And it did not detract from what was, in all, a most enjoyable performance.