High-flying fun on the way at spectacular pantomime

All set for the Elwick Academy production of Peter Pan.
All set for the Elwick Academy production of Peter Pan.

A dance academy’s 68th pantomime is just days away and excitement is mounting.

The Elwick Academy of Dance production of Peter Pan will begin its five-day run on Tuesday at the Town Hall Theatre in Raby Road in Hartlepool.

I am so excited for this year’s pantomime, especially with it starring Geoff himself. Rehearsals are well underway and it is all looking amazing.

Leanne Jeffries

Shows are at 6.45pm each night and there will also be a 2pm matinee performance on Saturday, January 14.

Leanne Jeffries, who jointly runs the academy with Geoff Lucas, said: “I am so excited for this year’s pantomime, especially with it starring Geoff himself.

“Rehearsals are well under way and it is all looking amazing.

“Twenty two years ago, I myself played the part of Peter Pan in Elwick’s first ever rendition of it, so it brings back a lot of memories for me personally.”

Leanne added: “Peter Pan is our 68th pantomime and is on at 6.45pm each evening plus a matinee performance on the 14th at 2pm.”

She said the show would be packed with highlights, adding: “There will be song, dance and even live flying.”

Tickets are £10 or £9 with concessions. All proceeds will be donated to Cancer Research.

The show features Olivia Wilson as Peter Pan and Geoff Lucas, who will be playing Captain Hook.

Leanne said there was a great line-up for the show.

She added: “We have a fabulous principal cast and it also includes all of our Elwick Academy pupils. It is fun for all of the family.”

Tickets can be bought online at the Destination Hartlepool website or at the Town Hall Theatre box office on (01429) 890000.

Alternatively they are also available by contacting the Elwick Academy of Dance directly.

Geoff said this would be the first time the academy had staged Peter Pan in 22 years and the decision to choose it as the production was taken by the academy’s students.

It is the first time Geoff has been back on the Town Hall Theatre stage since he was 19.

The full dance school will feature in the production, which will also include high flying stunts and the ‘baddie’ crocodile.

The Elwick Academy pantomime is a tradition started by Geoff’s mum, Freda Compton, who was the original owner of the dance school.

She founded the Elwick Academy of Dance in 1949 and went on to stage 61 annual pantomimes.

Freda taught thousands of Hartlepool youngsters and was a familiar face on the local dancing circuit. After she died, the pantomime trend was continued by Geoff.