Hook – The Further Adventures of Peter Pan Review

Kings Theatre, Southsea – until 31st January 2024

Reviewed by Sally Lumley


The Kings Theatre has done it again, delivering another fun-filled family pantomime for Christmas 2023 with Hook – The Further Adventures of Peter Pan.

This is the story of Peter Pan (James ‘Arg’ Argent) now living in Foreverland with his best friend Tinkerbell (Elizabeth Rose) as leader of the gang of Argy Bargies. He is still fighting with his old nemesis, and former bestie, Captain Hook (Shaun Williamson) who is seeking revenge for his lost hand. When Wendy (Georgia Deloise) comes to visit, the old rivalry comes to a head, and pandemonium ensues.

Shaun Williamson showcased his incredible vocal talents as Hook, belting out classics like ‘Sweet Child of Mine’ with ease. However, the surprise talent was James Argent, who absolutely held his own in a number of songs, including the iconic Defying Gravity. The real star of the Pompey Panto though could only be the local Portsmouth legend, and self-proclaimed “fat bloke in a dress”, Jack Edwards, who returns to the stage this year for his ninth pantomime at the Kings. He is absolutely in his element as the dame Mrs Smee, creating a level of chaos so convincing that we did not know whether any of it was intentional. Ultimately, it didn’t matter; the result was hilarious, and the audience were more than happy to go along for the ride.

This panto has it all (oh yes it does!) – a hysterical dame, jokes for the grown-ups, sing-along songs, terrible jokes, the obligatory “he’s behind you” moment, and of course the Pompey Panto classic ‘Twelve Days of Christmas’ routine with toilet rolls flying and water pistols firing. All this, and some Barrioke thrown in for good measure. Kids and grown-ups alike were joining in with the singing, dancing, cheering and booing, completely swept along by the feel-good atmosphere.

What Hook occasionally lacks in finesse, it more than makes up for with humour and heart, and really that is what great panto is all about. It is a swashbuckling good time, which left a big smile on our faces. A great start to the festive season.