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PETER PAN: 7th Dec 2013 – 12th Jan 2014

The show cracks on at a pace and brims with activity. It's masterminded by Ben Nickless's ebullient Smee, whose gags push at the boundaries of family entertainment but who gets away with it because he is so very funny.Pat Ashworth, The Stage, 12/2013

The Theatre Royal may have pulled off a coup in landing international superstar David Hasselhoff for this year's panto, but it was the lesser-known Ben Nickless who stole the show. The comedian, a product of 2006 BBC TV talent contest Let Me Entertain You, was never far away from all the best bits of this Peter Pan. Playing good-natured pirate Mr Smee, his sweet-toothed version of the erotic novel 50 Shades of Grey was the innuendo-laden highlight of an entertaining panto. He found the perfect foil in Hasselhoff for other side-splitting moments, including a marvellous section where he and his camp troupe of twerking pirates repeated everything 'the Hoff' said. There were also some amusingly smutty misunderstandings when Smee stored a telescope in his trousers as well the bikini-clad pirate's own must-see tribute to Hasseloff hit show Baywatch. Ironically, it fell to Smee to give the legend that is the Hoff a suitably over-the-top introduction when the television colossus joined proceedings 25 minutes in. Smee converted to boxing ringmaster to introduce the 'Baywatch Bruiser' as he was wheeled on to stage in a bright red chair adorned with the legend 'The Hoff'.Paul Hindle, Nottingham Post, 12/2013

Tinkerbell (Isobel Hathaway), Tiger Lily (Billie Kay) and Wendy (Hannah Nicholas) all put in strong singing performances but the surprise package of the panto has to be Ben Nickless' Mr Smee. He was easily the funniest character and time and again had the audience wiping tears of laughter from their eyes as he delivered pun, after joke, after comic one-liner. His interaction with the children who were hauled up on stage was priceless, while a smutty story written around the names of well-known sweets was simply side-splitting. Smee and Hook made a great double act but the enduring image from the show has to be Nickless in a grotesque Pamela Anderson costume, complete with singing boobs. Words cannot describe! Theatre Royal pantomimes always have stunning sets and top notch effects and Peter Pan was no different.chad.co.uk, 12/2013

Meanwhile there's some serious scene-stealing shenanigans afoot from Ben Nickless as Mr Smee with a naughtily delicious chocolate bedtime spoof of 50 Shades of Grey guaranteed to maul and tease you plus a freaky and screechingly funny Pamela Anderson tribute to boot and either ducking from those pesky water pistols, heartily indulging in a foam rock fight with dandy pirate men, singing-along or getting up and down for the Dance-Hoff, aint no way you'll be staying put in your seat when this show gets started, me hearties.Nottingham confidential, 12/2013



© Andrea H/Ben Nickless 2006 - 2017

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