Cast to fly high as part of Hartlepool pantomime

All ready to put on a show.
All ready to put on a show.

A spectacular pantomime looks set to be a soaraway success.

The Hartlepool-based production of Peter Pan, which is being staged by the Elwick Academy of Dance, will feature NINE members of the cast taking to the air.

The cast of Peter Pan.

The cast of Peter Pan.

The show features live flying scenes and has started its five-day run at the Town Hall Theatre, in Raby Road, Hartlepool.

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

It is a memorable occasion for Geoff Lucas, who jointly runs the academy with Leanne Jeffries.

Geoff is appearing on stage in pantomime himself for the first time since 1979.

The show is a Hartlepool tradition now but it is also a family tradition and it is why I had to keep it going

Geoff Lucas

He stars as the villainous Captain Hook opposite Olivia Wilson as Peter Pan. He is also one of the actors who gets to take to the skies.

He said: “Last time I was in pantomime I was Buttons in Cinderella. This one is pretty spectacular and I think it is worth coming along for. Nine of us get to fly.

“The final set between me and Peter Pan is in the air.”

Tinkerbell, Wendy and the children will also be airborne, but fellow boss Leanne will be firmly on the ground and will be looking after the show from behind the scenes. That’s a complete change from 22 years ago when Leanne was the one who got to soar above the stage on the very first time that the academy used flying in its show.

The production has been described by organisers as a magical adventure in Neverland with song and dance. The full dance school will feature in the production, which will also include the ‘baddie’ crocodile.

The Elwick Academy pantomime is a tradition started by Geoff’s mum, Freda Compton, 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.

Geoff said: “The show is a Hartlepool tradition now but it is also a family tradition and it is why I had to keep it going.”

Tickets are £10 or £9 with concessions.

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

Stall seats are available directly from the Academy by calling (01429) 275151.