This winter, the 80’s icon takes on a brand new challenge when he makes his pantomime debut as Captain Hook in World’s Biggest Panto’s arena spectacular production of Peter Pan.
Boy George, real name George O’Dowd, admits he can’t wait for what does indeed promise to be a very big adventure.
Having turned down offers to do panto in the past he reveals that this one attracted him due to the sheer scale and ambition of the endeavour.
“With me, whenever I do something it’s very instinctual and in the moment so it wasn’t something I thought about long and hard”, he says, adding, “I’d seen that Martin Kemp had done it on the TV and I thought it would be fun. It’s very British. I think it’s going to be a hoot. I’m looking forward it”.
Peter Pan, starring Boy George, will tour arenas across the U.K. this winter. It’s a massive production featuring breath-taking effects, swash-buckling sword-fights, death-defying stunts and all the magic of Neverland.
George elaborates, “It’s called the World’s biggest Panto because it takes place in arenas and even has a life size galleon, water fountains, a big cast and amazing computer scenery on huge screens. The scale and spectacle is what attracted me. If I was going to do a panto it had to be something special and unique”.
A show that’s great fun for all the family, it’s one that highlights the appeal of Boy George for generations of fans, parents and grand-parents may know him for his chart success with hits such as Karma Chamelion and Do You Really Want To Hurt Me? but many youngsters also know him from his time on I’m A Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here and as a judge on ITV’s the Voice.
Fittingly for a show with the biggest name in pantoland this year, the arena spectacular of JM Barrie’s much-loved tale is on a scale seldom seen anywhere in the world.
Transported across the country in eight HGVs with a cast and support company of more than 100 it also boasts 10 miles of cabling and more than 200 costume changes as well as 1,250 local children who will join the cast to form junior choirs at each venue. And let’s not forget Captain Hook’s life-size galleon which is eight metres long, two and a half metres wide and five metres high.
“There is one bit in the show where I get 200 inflatable cannon balls thrown at me by the audience. It’s going to be insane. I am looking forward to learning the sword fights too”, reveals George, insisting he can’t wait to be in the middle of all the fun.
“I’m definitely not going to hide behind the hydraulics”, he laughs.
“When I do something I commit to it completely. I don’t do anything in a half-hearted manner whether it’s making a cup of coffee or playing Captain Hook. All those things are going to make the show fun but I wouldn’t do it if I wasn’t prepared to make to do everything I can to make it great.”
Taking to the stage with George will be dare devil comedian Jordan Conway in the title role.
“Obviously I’ve already met some of the cast and they are all adorable so its going to be a fun, family orientated experience. I don’t see it as work. I see it as fun. I’ve never really had a regular job so to me, it’s very exciting.”
He continues, “I’ve met Jordan a few times now, he is very dedicated and has a similar sense of humour to me. I’m sure he and I will be ad-libbing plenty, especially in a scene where we trade insults before we launch into the sword fight. He’s just done a 15,000 feet sky dive in costume to publicize the show. I am not that dedicated”.
However it seems that while Jordan may be playing the titular role, his Peter Pan is not the only Boy who never grew up in this spectacular.
George admits, “I’ve always been a bit of a kid at heart. I still have a sense of adventure and welcome new challenges. The important thing is to embrace new ideas and with Peter Pan I plan to take it seriously and do the best I can”.
He laughs, “There’s no rest for the wicked and they don’t get any more wicked than Captain Hook”.
PETER PAN TOUR DATES
Blackpool Winter Gardens 28-29 October
Liverpool M&S Bank Arena 2-3 December
Cardiff Utilitarian Arena 9-10 December
Birmingham Resorts World Arena 22-23 December
Aberdeen P&J Live Arena 27-28 December
Glasgow OVO Hydro 29-30 December
Nottingham Motorpoint Arena 2-3 January 2024
London Eventim Apollo Hammersmith 5-7 January 2024
Tickets from peterpantix.com