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Peter Pan enthralls young readers in Norwich with tales of Neverland

07:00 03 January 2015

Peter Pan (Charlotte Baptie), Starkey (Ben Langley) and Wendy (Ruth Betteridge) with children at the library. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Peter Pan (Charlotte Baptie), Starkey (Ben Langley) and Wendy (Ruth Betteridge) with children at the library. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Copyright: Archant 2014

Youngsters had fun hearing about Peter Pan and Wendy’s adventures in Neverland as the stars of Norwich Theatre Royal’s pantomime took part in a special storytelling session.

Children’s favourite Peter Pan moments

• Harry Saunders, six, from Norwich, said: “I liked hearing about Peter Pan fighting Captain Hook. My favourite character is Peter Pan because he is good.”

• Astrid Winter, five, from Norwich, said: “I liked it when the crocodile ate Captain Hook because it was funny. My favourite character is Wendy because I like it when she flies.”

• Charlie Boast, who is eight today and from Taverham, is one of the children who play Michael Darling in the Theatre Royal pantomime.

He said: “I like it when Peter Pan flies through the window (of the Darlings’ house) with Tinker Bell.”

• Summer Parker, three, from Spixworth, said: “My favourite character is the crocodile.”

Her sister Jasmine Parker, six, added: “I like it when the crocodile saves the children by eating Captain Hook.

Joined by the pirate Starkey, the trio visited the Children’s Library at Norfolk and Norwich Millennium Library yesterday where they enthralled an audience of enthusiastic young readers with highlights from the classic JM Barrie tale about the boy who never grew up.

Their visit was part of the library’s series of regular storytelling sessions to encourage children to read and enjoy books.

Charlotte Baptie, who plays Peter Pan, said: “It was great to share the story of Peter Pan with so many young people. They were absolutely enthralled by the twists and turns of Peter’s adventures, and had the chance to help us tell the story too. It was lovely to meet so many young people, some of who had seen the pantomime, and also have the chance to show them how much fun reading can be.”

Lots of families packed into the library for the event which had an audience of about 70 people.

Children enthralled by the story of Peter Pan read by Theatre Royal Peter Pan Panto stars at the Children's Library. Picture: DENISE BRADLEYChildren enthralled by the story of Peter Pan read by Theatre Royal Peter Pan Panto stars at the Children's Library. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

Ben Langley, who plays Starkey, said: “It was absolutely marvellous. I was so impressed - at all of the panto events we have done the turnout of people has been amazing. The support the theatre has is unlike anything I have ever seen.”

Jo Parker, 33, from Spixworth, brought her daughters Jasmime, six, and Summer, three.

She said: “It was great and the children seemed to have a really wonderful time. The characters really brought it to life for them which was really lovely. There was a really nice atmosphere and it rounded off Christmas quite nicely.”

Georgia Watson, 36, from north Norwich, brought her children Harry, seven, Arthur, four, and Barnaby, two, to the storytelling session, and she said they had a brilliant time.

Community librarian Gwen Parker said: “We always like working with the Theatre Royal, and the children were absolutely captivated by the storytelling. It is a great way to inspire children to read more.”

Peter Pan is at Norwich Theatre Royal until January 18. The pantomime is based on the classic JM Barrie story and has been written and directed by Richard Gauntlett who is also plays the pirate Smee. Kevin Kennedy, who played Curly Watts in the ITV soap Coronation Street, plays Captain Hook.

Tickets £5.50-£21. For more and to book tickets visit www.theatreroyalnorwich.co.uk or call the box office on 01603 630000.

• Do you have a Norwich arts story? Email arts correspondent Emma Knights at emma.knights@archant.co.uk

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