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SCENE IT: Childlike fun with PETER PAN ON ICE

Barbara Loots


JM Barrie’s beloved Peter Pan just got a new playground of ice on which to glide on over to Neverland. Peter and friends fun-lovingly share their adventures with fairies, pirates, mermaids and more with audiences as part of the Imperial Ice Star’s PETER PAN ON ICE at the Artscape Opera House until 2 February 2020.

Talking to the Imperial Ice Stars director and choreographer, Tony Mercer, before the Artscape opening night performance, he commented that with PETER PAN ON ICE he gave his company —who in the past also enthralled with productions such as The Nutcracker on Ice and Cinderella on Ice— a bit of free reign to have an abundance of fun in the development of this show. As a result, their energy and childlike enthusiasm in portraying their colourful characters undoubtedly reveals that fun is very much at the heart of this show.

PETER PAN ON ICE brings with it some truly enchanting scenes, and dramatic use of lights and graphics: the light-fantastic entrance of Tinker Bell, Peter Pan’s shadow-shenanigans, the location shifts from London to Neverland, the underwater world of the mermaids, and the sensational silk aerial lifts of two of Hook’s pirates (Fiona Kirk and Volodymyr Khodakviskyy), to name a few.

Although all the skaters are top-notch with world class qualifications, the accolade for standout performance has to go to the majestic Olga Sharutenko. She fully embraces the magical character of Tinker Bell through her performance. Sharutenko not only shows off her amazing skills, but also proves herself to have great theatrical flair. She charms the audience with a good dose of exaggerated, yet endearing, acting, as she takes to the air and whizzes around the ice —this Tink’s got spunk!

A favourite of the children in the audience (perhaps the largest component of the target audience) is Captain Hook’s greatest fear: the Crocodile who wants to make a meal out of him. That fear is not overly accentuated as Hook (Mikhail Kirsanov) and his Croc (Kirill Polnikov) appear to have a bit of a love-hate relationship when skate-fighting. In fact, Hook looks to be more preoccupied with his tail-whipping friend than his sword-wielding nemesis, Peter Pan.

When Polnikov takes to stage in his six-pack crocodile costume (possibly the buffest looking crocodile ever), he does so with the aid of an earworm worthy youthful tune and psychedelic projected images, and so lures the audience into partaking in what can be described as a Crocodile-Bartman dance.

Along with Mr Crocodile’s moves, the use of occasional musical interludes to boost the narrative through song (mostly as scene changes) adds a pantomime feel to this entertaining skating spectacle. It will be most enjoyed by all who can tap into the childlike wonder at which PETER PAN ON ICE is aimed as a celebration of JM Barrie’s magical story.

Book your tickets through Computicket to escape the summer heat with Peter Pan and friends in this ice-styled tale of family-friendly adventure presented by Pieter Toerien Productions. When setting off for Neverland with PETER PAN ON ICE, remember to bring a jacket or a jersey along, as flying through the sky and fighting pirates at sea can include a bit of a chilly moment or two —in the heat that’s a lovely added bit of magic.

PETER PAN ON ICE is onstage at the Artscape Opera House until 2 February 2020.


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