Portsmouth audiences will be hooked on New Theatre Royal’s Christmas production of Peter Pan

The leads in Peter Pan at New Theatre Royal. Timothy Lucas as Hook, Hannah McIver as Wendy, Samuel Bailey as Peter Pan and Ariane Barnes as Lily. Picture: Sarah Standing (180713-5304)

FAMILIES will be whisked away on an adventure in Neverland this Christmas as Peter Pan flies into the New Theatre Royal.

The city centre theatre is putting on a brand new adaptation of the JM Barrie classic about the boy who wouldn’t grow up, which has been written by its chief executive Scott Ramsay.

Sam Bailey, from Wivenhoe in Essex, is taking on the title role. The 25-year-old: I did Peter Pan two years ago in Skegness, so I am familiar with the iconic character. But that was the only other Christmas show I've ever done.

‘I love the story of Peter Pan and I’m very childlike myself, so I’m always up for playing the part while I can.’

But it will be the first ever Christmas show for Hannah McIver, from Manchester, who is playing Wendy Darling, and only graduated from Guildhall School of Acting this summer.

Over the summer she made her professional debut in a new musical romantic comedy, It Happened in Key West, at the Charing Cross Theatre in London.

‘I’m very excited to be spending my Christmas in Portsmouth, said the 21-year-old. 

‘I can’t get over how beautiful this theatre is. I can’t wait to perform here and feel the Christmas magic.’

Ariane Barnes has been more used to improvisation lately as a cast member of the hit comedy Showstoppers. But in this show, she plays Tiger Lily, princess of the Piccaninny tribe, who live in Neverland.

She said: ‘I’ve stayed away from Christmas shows up until now – but this got my attention.’

Ariane, who is British-Mauritian added: ‘As a BAME actor, I think it’s amazing that she’s been reimagined like this and holds a strong part in the show. I love the presence and command that she’s been given. 

‘And I’m really looking forward to the original songs as well.’

Timothy Lucas makes a welcome return to the NTR, after wowing audiences in last Christmas’s Beauty and The Beast as the devious Frederick. This time he’s the dastardly Captain Hook.

He said: ‘I absolutely loved it here last time. I’m just glad to be back and I get to see the people of Portsmouth again.’

READ MORE Review: Beauty and The Beast at New Theatre Royal, Portsmouth

And as for his co-star and soon-to-be-nemesis Sam?

‘I hate him already,’ he laughed.

Peter Pan is at New Theatre Royal in Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth, from December 13 to 31. Tickets cost £10 to £26 depending on time and day. Family and VIP tickets also available. Go to newtheatreroyal.com.

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