The title characters from the Russian Ice Stars production of Peter Pan On Ice at the Wyvern Theatre flew over to the Link Centre on Monday 24 March to meet members of the town’s professional ice hockey team Swindon Wildcats.
The Wyvern’s stage will be transformed into an ice rink from Wednesday 7 May to Sunday 11 May for sensational shows performed by an all Russian cast skaters in a new adaptation of JM Barrie’s famous fantasy adventure.
Wendy, Michael and John are visited in the nursery by Peter Pan himself, who teaches them to fly with the help of Tinker Bell, and takes them on a magical journey to Never Land…but, ahead of visiting the nursery and whisking the Darlings off to Never Land, Peter Pan (Anton Smirnov) and his fairy Tinkerbell (Katya Bokiy) had to fly in to see the Wyvern Theatre and also the ice rink at Link Centre.
Katya said Tinkerbell is her favourite characters of all the ice dance shows the Russians put on. "Peter Pan has so many characters, some nice and friendly, and some bad ones. The whole cast are professional ice skaters, many of us competed to a high level at junior and senior level, but now we have learnt to act. There will be somebody from Swindon describing the story, but we have to tell it through movement and our expression.
"The show is very exciting for everybody, the children will love the story, and there are also acrobats and flying sequences, hoola hoops and juggling with fire."
Although the performers are all Russian, the show is put together by a British producer and the choreographer is from Italy.
Katya said she enjoyed meeting the Wildcats. "When I was training as a figure skater at sports school, at the end of the term we would join in with playing some ice hockey, but it was gentle so we did not get injuries."
Wyvern Theatre marketing manager Richard Loftus said tickets are selling well for Peter Pan on Ice. "The story is my favourite since I was in an amateur production many years ago. There are so many aspects to it; you can really feel you’re being taken into a fantasy world."
The logistics of staging a show such as Peter Pan On Ice are challenging, with the company having just 18 hours in which to transform a normal theatre stage into a bespoke ice rink. It takes two 45ft trucks, two industrial pools, 15 km of special rubber piping, two chiller units and four tons of crushed ice to make the rink. A crew of ten work around the clock in order to get the venue ready for the ice stars to rehearse at 4.30pm on opening night.
Peter Pan On Ice will run at the Wyvern Theatre from Wednesday 7 May to Sunday 11 May.
Book at wyverntheatre.org.uk or call the Ticket Office on 01793 524 481.
All images by Richard Wintle of Calyx