PETER Pan is not a story that is easily translated into a panto - for a start there is no Dame in the original story - but the creative team behind Croydon's Fairfield Halls has largely succeeded.
Starring EastEnders' hard man Phil Mitchell, aka Steve McFadden as Captain Hook and Croydon regular Quinn Patrick as Mrs Smee, the Dame, it is an exuberant and entertaining show with all of the obligatory Christmas cracker type jokes, slapstick, local and topical references, note-perfect songs, energetic dancing and versatile set.
Thanks to amazing visual special effects, zip wires and a bit of magic we are transported first to the London home of the Darlings where we meet the children - Wendy, Michael and John - and their nanny, Mrs Smee who tells them a story about Peter Pan, the boy who doesn't want to grow up.
As they go to sleep we see Peter's shaddow flit about the stage before he flies in through the window to find it.
When the three Darling children wake up and see him - or is this all a dream, we are not quite sure - they immediately become friends and travel with him to Neverland where they meet pirates, Indians, a life size and very realistic looking croc, mermaids and of course the Lost Boys.
They then embark on an adventure to rid Neverland of the evil Captain Hook before Wendy and her brothers have to go home.
David Ribi is suitably boyish as Peter Pan and is more than at home flying above the stage on wires and Elizabeth Carter makes a delightful Wendy.
There is a great supporting cast to help the show along many of which take on multiple roles. Kelly Chinery and Nathaniel Morrison are hilarious as both the mermaids and the Indians.
But it is the double act that is Steve McFadden and Quinn Patrick which is the star of this particular show.
Their scenes with each other were hilarious and in one scene disaster nearly struck when Mrs Smee nearly came out of her boat and into the orchestra pit. And Steve McFadden proves he can do more than be a gruff mechanic as he brings a tender side to his role as Hook.
Peter Pan is on at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon until Sunday, January 5, 2014.
Tickets from £17. Visit www.fairfield.co.uk or call 020 8688 9291.