Express & Star

Review: Operatic group flying high with triumphant Peter Pan at Wolverhampton Grand

The original flying fairytale hero Peter Pan and his pals have touched down at the Wolverhampton Grand Theatre this week, courtesy of local am dram performers Bilston Operatic Company.

Fergus Edwards as Peter Pan. Photo: Jonathan Hipkiss Photography.

Following the success of their production of Kinky Boots at the city centre venue earlier this year, the group has done a complete U-turn, with Peter Pan the Musical, a show aimed largely at youngsters.

That said, don’t think the adults are left out, as they can enjoy reliving their childhood memories of the adventures of the Lost Boys, as the script of the show remains very true to J M Barrie’s novel.

George Stiles’ score is uplifting, if not particularly memorable, and after an opening night tentative start, was beautifully performed throughout.

Nikki Jewell, as Liza, with Nana. Photo: Jonathan Hipkiss Photography/

Fergus Edwards was the perfect Peter Pan, with excellent vocals, fluid movements and the mischievous personality the character demands.

There was an angelic performance by Maddie Evans as Wendy, who is definitely adult leading lady material for the future, and a confident, amusing portrayal of John from Joseph Dowen.

Experience and superb theatrical training shows, and Lydia Hackett made an elegant Mrs Darling with arguably the best vocal performance of the night, as well as the motherly warmth the role requires.

Dan Smith as Captain Hook. Photo: Jonathan Hipkiss Photography.

Dan Smith struck just the right chord as Captain Hook, menacing but amusing and silly too and again, sang the role to perfection.

But it was seven-year-old Jett Austin-Richards as Michael who stole the show, with confidence and stage presence rarely seen in an amateur performer of such tender years. He is just so cute!

The show was a visual delight, with stunning scenery, which perfectly recreated Neverland and transported the audience to a world of pure fantasy. The ambitious lighting plot, while effective, suffered from some opening night glitches but once smoothed out should impress.

Poster for the production of Peter Pan

All in all, Peter Pan the Musical is another amateur triumph for Bilston Operatic Company.

The show runs until Saturday. Tickets are available at

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