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Peter Pan takes to the air: Behind the scenes at the Kenneth More Theatre panto

PUBLISHED: 15:24 03 December 2017

Actors getting ready for the Christmas panto at the Kenneth More Theatre

Actors getting ready for the Christmas panto at the Kenneth More Theatre

Archant

With gravity-defying stunts, nautical decorations and handcrafted wooden vessels, you could be mistaken for thinking that the Recorder was behind the scenes at a Pirates of the Carribean movie shoot.

Actors getting ready for the Christmas panto at the Kenneth More Theatre Actors getting ready for the Christmas panto at the Kenneth More Theatre

The reality of the situation was a bit closer to home for us however, as we got a sneak preview of the Kenneth More Theatre’s pantomime rehearsal.

This year’s Christmas performance at Oakfield Road, Ilford, is Peter Pan and judging by the set, audiences won’t be disappointed.

If you like being entertained with creative costumes, catchy tunes and a sense of magical adventure, then this one is for you.

It will also be the second year that harnesses are used in a performance.

Actors getting ready for the Christmas panto at the Kenneth More Theatre Actors getting ready for the Christmas panto at the Kenneth More Theatre

We caught up with Peter Pan, aka Charlie Jones, 25, from Hornchurch and Wendy played by Lori Stansfield, 18, from Brentwood to hear about what it is like to swing from the rafters in front of hundreds of people.

“It was very daunting at first,” said Charlie

“Its fun once you get used to it and the closest you get to flying without actually flying.”

Lori added: “It is an amazing experience.

“There is a London video backdrop when we fly and it is magical - the children will love it.

“We wear this wire, but can’t see it so it feels like we really are doing it.”

The cast already had six full days of rehearsal when we visited and said the practice sessions were going well.

“We all have such great friendships and chemistry and this shows on stage,” said Lori.

“The play also features well-known songs such as Justin Timberlake’s Can’t Stop The Feeling, so everyone can join in.”

While Charlie has been involved in several performance tours, Lori is still at college and this is her first time appearing in a professional production.

Both actors said they love being involved in a show that is local to them.

“It will nice to spend Christmas at home in Hornchurch, rather than touring this year,” said Charlie.

“It is also great as Peter Pan has not been done here before and it is only the second time they have used harnesses.”

Visit: kmtheatre.co.uk/show/peter-pan or call 02085534466

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