It's got a cross-dressing hero, it's got a sing-a-long, and you're meant to yell out "He's behind you!" but Peter Pandemonium isn't your typical Christmas panto. It is in fact the 9th annual Battersea Barge Cabaret Panto, and some of the cast members have been involved in them all... which shows that they must really enjoy doing the show, or that come Christmas-time they are really strapped for cash. This year's instalment, written by Dusty Limits, is an alcohol-fuelled romp loosely based on Peter Pan, and once the Jolly Rogerer sets sail, the crew manage to take aim and fire an innuendo-laden gag at almost every target that has popped up in the media in the past year.
The casting of Laurie Hagen as a confused Peter is a stroke of genius and provides for an epilogue that we won't forget in a hurry. Dusty plays a dastardly Hook (with a more than passing resemblance to Errol Flynn), and clearly enjoys the boos and hisses while playing the villain. We'd love to tell you about all the other characters, but we'd ruin the show. Just watch out for the crocodile, it's definitely a highlight and brought the house down (if such a thing can be said of a barge). The perfect antidote for an overdose of Christmas cheer.
There are still a few places left for the final show at 7.30pm Tuesday (Tickets £12) The Battersea Barge has a bar complete with lagers on tap and a decent wine list, and during the show there is a 3 course menu available (including Christmas turkey and pudding).