Pompey Panto picks up Peter Pan's story with Hook for their Christmas spectacular at The Kings Theatre
and live on Freeview channel 276
To launch the show, its leads went clambering around on the historic warship HMS Warrior in The Historic Dockyards.
The Pompey Panto favourites will be joined by Shaun Williamson – best known as Barry from EastEnders and Ricky Gervais’ Extras – in the villainous title role.
James “Arg” Argent, The Only Way is Essex star, plays the boy who never grew up. It marks Arg’s return to The Kings after he made his panto debut there as Dandini in 2015’s Cinderella.
And local legend Jack Edwards will be returning at the Albert Road, Southsea venue with his own brand of laughter and chaos, this time as Mrs Smee.
Shaun has had a busy summer taking his Barrioke show to 19 festivals across the UK. He said: “This is about my fifth time playing Hook. When I started doing panto, because Barry was a relatively inoffensive character, a bit of a cuddly loser, so I played goodies, I played Buttons and Idle Jack, those kinds of roles.
“You don't have anywhere near as much fun as when you're playing the villain of the piece. There is a licence with panto to really go over the top – you can go as far as you want with it and I’m really looking forward to playing Hook at The Kings.”
Arg added: “It's good to be back. Coming to the Kings was my first panto and I remember I had an amazing experience. I always thought that I'd like to come back here, so to come back in a lead role is great for me.
"Jack and I had stayed in touch, and I’d actually reached out to him for some advice about some stuff I wanted to do in the future when he said: ‘What would you think about coming back…?’ And I was like, ‘Yeah, let’s do it!’”
They are joined in the cast by Pompey Panto regular Julia Worsley, star of The Kings’ production of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Georgia Deloise as Wendy, and Elizabeth Rose, who was in the theatre’s 2022 community production of Titanic, as Tinkerbell.
Hook runs over 52 performances from December 1-31. Tickets from £10. Go to kingsportsmouth.co.uk.