Four members of the cast of Peter Pan at the Sheffield City Hall are flying over the stage – and one actor has flown in before the big day too!
French teacher Lorien Biet jetted back home to France for Christmas – before making a speedy return journey to be on stage with Manor Operatic for curtain up on Saturday.
It is typical of the dedication of the cast and crew, who all give up a lot of their Christmas break to be ready for the show.
Linda Kelly, co-director and producer of the show with partner Richard Bradford, said: “Peter’s done a bit of flying before, but the four boys alternating in the roles of the Darling boys have never done it before, and neither have the two Wendys.
“Having to do it on the stage is wild for them, but once they’re up they are quite happy.”
Richard and Linda write a lot of the scripts themselves.
Linda said: “We finished it off this summer while we were on holiday in Spain and we found a couple of the musical numbers from songs playing in the kids’ club.
“One was Cartoon Heroes that we made into Panto Heroes.”
Other songs adapted for the show include Pharrell Williams’ Happy and Meghan Trainor’s All About the Bass.
Linda says: “Most of the people we met around the pool know half of the panto already. When we were asking ‘what’s this song?’, they were using apps on their phones for us to find the names.
“It’s been hard work but exciting, especially working with 24 boys who play the Lost Boys, who we found through an open audition in the summer.
“We have to double up on children, because of the number of performances and also we had so many that are so good.”
Linda said youngsters in the audience also love the 14ft crocodile that appears on stage.
She said: “One of our members right up until the other week thought it was going to be real. Mind you, we’ve had all sorts of other livestock on stage.
“We’ve had it especially made and it needs to be big because the stage is so huge. We have a lad inside working it and it looks absolutely brilliant.
The society is famed for its spectacular stage effects and this year is no different, with pyrotechnics and acrobats performing on stage.
Some of the cast have also been trained to play African drums.
Linda said: “The cast are just buzzing about the show. It’s all local talent.”
n Peter Pan continues until Sunday For tickets, visit www.sheffieldcityhall.co.uk or call 0114 278 9789. See The Star tomorrow for a review.