Captain Hook vs Peter Pan

Local actor Gareth Wilde as Captain Hook
Local actor Gareth Wilde as Captain Hook

THEATRE bosses are bringing the magic of Peter Pan to St Helens this Easter.

JM Barrie’s fantastical tale of the boy who refuses to grow up and his adventures in Never Land comes to the St Helens Theatre Royal on April 14.

The show stars Radio City DJ Claire Simonsen as Tinkerbell and local lad Gareth Wilde as arch-villan Captain Hook.

It’s hoped the eight-night run will help cement the Theatre Royal’s burgeoning reputation for staging Easter pantomimes.

Claire said: “I can’t tell you how excited I am to be putting on a pair of wings and flying across the stage as Tinkerbell after Rossie and Jay set me up an audition for the part.

“I was delighted to be offered the part of Tinkerbell by Chantelle Nolan who I have worked with in the past and loved every minute.

“The only problem will be convincing me that I’m not actually Tinkerbell after the panto ends! This is my dream role – because of course – I do believe in fairies!

“This performance will be extra special for me as my daughter Melodie successfully auditioned as one of the dancers so she had best behave herself! (And I have to as well!)”

JM Barrie’s Peter Pan has enchanted children and grown-ups for generations. The story follows Peter’s adventure in the magical world of Never Land as he helps the Lost Boys and Wendy escape the clutches of the even Captain Hook and his hapless henchman.

The cast also included Leah Murphy, star of last year’s Easter pantomime The Wizard of Oz, plays Wendy opposite gifted local actor Stuart Campbell who is to play Peter Pan.

Newcomer 13-year-old Eloise Tasker stars as Tigerlilly in this fun family show directed by Regal Entertainments’ Chantelle Nolan, who has directed the Theatre Royal’s Easter Pantomime for the last six years.

Chantelle said: “St Helens Theatre Royal is quickly becoming the most established venue for Easter Pantomimes in the North West.

“We look forward to dazzling audiences young and old with this extra exciting show, it’s the perfect fairy-tale adventure for all the family.”

* The show will be staged at 1pm on Thursday, April 14 and 15, and 1pm and 5pm on Saturday, April 23, 24 and 25. Tickets - priced from £8 - are available from the Theatre Royal box office on 01744 756000 or by calling into the theatre on Corporation Street, St Helens, online at