Watch video of Peter Pan rehearsals

Click here to watch the rehearsals video on youtube

It was a day of creative minds coming together at Derby LIVE Assembly Rooms last Monday when rehearsals took off with a flying start for this year’s Christmas production of The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan.

Directors, a lighting designer, riggers, a large stage crew, and a special effects film company hooked up to create the first flight from the Edwardian rooftops of London to The Never Land.

Matt Veitch, lighting designer for pantomime producers Paul Holman Associates, said: “This year’s production has required an enormous lighting and special effects rig using state- of-the-art equipment that’s taken a large crew several days to install into the venue. Bringing Never Land to the Assembly Rooms stage has seen us capture the power and magic of hundreds of high-end lighting instruments and many hundreds of metres of cable.

“The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan is a great challenge for a lighting designer and this production is shaping up to be one of the most complex shows myself and my team have been involved in this year – it will be a spectacular arrival come opening night and we’re very excited!”

Another challenge for the team has been creating the magic and illusion of the fairy Tinkerbell. An idea which began blossoming earlier in the year has now been brought to life with the use of ground-breaking technology, creating another ‘wow’ factor for audiences and a pantomime first for producers. With the use of green-screen filming and layers of special effects, it’s hoped every young boy and girl’s perception of Tinkerbell will be realised as the magical fairy sparks into life from an exploding ball of light.

Waterloo Road actor and Britain’s Got Talent winner George Sampson who plays the title role of the boy who refused to grow up was taken into the rafters of the Great Hall for his inaugural flight. A custom made-to-measure harness was fitted to the rising TV star allowing him to be flown at different points in the venue. The specialist harness will give George the freedom and flexibility to create stunning aerobatics above audiences’ heads.

Artistic director, Lee Waddingham said: “I was blown away by George’s cool attitude! He clearly has a head for heights and makes a fearless Pan. It wasn’t long before he was back-flipping his way across a London skyline! I’m looking forward to the next flying lesson later this week when Dame Able Mabel will see if she can successfully take-off!”

The Pantomime Adventures of Peter Pan opens on December 7 and with EastEnders villain Larry Lamb as Captain Hook, the production is shaping up to be a spectacular, spine-tingling story to capture hearts and leave audiences believing in fairies.

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