Peter Pan on Ice at the ICC Wales, Celtic Manor Resort, Newport – review

Cardiff theatre
Peter Pan On Ice

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We were provided with complimentary press tickets for the purpose of this review

Peter Pan on Ice has skated into the International Conference Centre Wales at the Celtic Manor Resort for the Christmas season, and wow, what a magically enchanting performance it is.

It’s performed by Imperial Ice Stars, the world-renowned Russian company who we last saw at the same venue in December 2021 when they brought The Nutcracker on Ice to South Wales. We loved that show, which combined the familiar music of Tchaikovsky’s famous festive ballet with awe-inspiring choreography.

And this year’s production is every bit as incredible, with the famous tale of Peter Pan accompanied by new and original music, and once again some jaw-dropping ice dancing moves that defy belief.

Read on for a full review, plus check out the Reel on the Cardiff Mummy Says Instagram channel.

The show opens with ‘JM Barrie’ introducing the story, before we join the Darling siblings – Wendy, Michael and John in their bedroom.

Here, they are visited by Tinkerbell, the mischievous fairy, and Peter Pan, the little boy who doesn’t want to grow up, and find themselves whisked away on an adventure to Neverland, where they battle with pirates, meet mermaids, and form firm friendships with The Lost Boys.

Peter Pan On Ice

JM Barrie links the various scenes together with his narration and singing, although it’s helpful to have a little knowledge of the story of Peter Pan as there’s no dialogue from the rest of the cast. For a synopsis of the storyline, you can pick up a free information sheet just outside the auditorium (ask the ushers if you can’t find them).

Under the guidance of Tony Mercer – widely regarded as one of the word’s leading directors and choreographers of theatre on ice – the 19-strong cast continually wow us with their incredible moves and beautiful ice storytelling.

The stage itself is a simple ice rink, with all the scenery projected onto a huge video screen at the back. The graphics brilliantly depict the Darlings’ nursery, the rooftops of London, Neverland, and the pirate ship, without ever detracting from the ice dancing.

Peter Pan On Ice

The flying scenes in particular are so beautiful, as are Tiger Lily’s fire dancing and the aerial acrobat mermaid. Peter Pan and Wendy make an exceptional pairing. At one point, he is pirouetting around and she is balancing on his head, neither of them holding on to the other. Later, he spins her around just by her arm, the rest of her body suspended in the air. It’s absolutely incredible to watch and there are so many moments when the audience bursts into spontaneous applause.

One of our favourite characters is Tick Tock, the crocodile, who adds plenty of humour to the performance with his eccentric dance moves and his interactions with Captain Hook.

Peter Pan On Ice

The performers rehearsed 11 or more hours a day, six days a week, for six weeks to bring the show together, and even while on tour, they rehearse for three hours a day, and it shows with the entire production so flawless and polished. Amazingly, some of the skating moves performed by The Imperial Ice Stars have never been attempted before, either in competition or on the stage (not even the winter Olympics) and some are so complex they haven’t even been named yet. The audience really are witnessing ice professionals at the top of their game.

At around an hour and a quarter in length, and with no interval it’s perfect for families, although definitely one for all ages too. Age guidance is 4+, with no admittance to under 2s. My children are 13, 11 and eight, and we all thought it was brilliant. This imaginative interpretation of the classic story of perfect Christmas entertainment.

Peter Pan On Ice

Peter Pan on Ice is at ICC Wales, Celtic Manor Resort until 1 January 2023. Tickets cost from £18 with group discounts, pre-show VIP packages, and Peter Pan themed afternoon teas also available. The show is around 75 minutes with no interval. Age guidance is 4+ with no admittance to under 2s. Book online here.

There’s an offer for up to 25% off selected dates with code NEVERLAND until midnight on 21 December.

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