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True review: Peter Pan on Ice – the real slog to Neverland

Dec 13, 2019, Author: Hello Joburg

It’s a make-believe journey that requires rehearsals for nine or more hours a day, six days a week for seven weeks … wow

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Making magic never looked so hard, and understanding the behind-the-scenes prep creates a new respect for this manifestation of mischief and adventure … on ice! While it’s not a brand-new concept for us, theatre shows on ice remain novel for South African audiences who like to wear jerseys in summer.  

So, do we recommend you get tickets for this one? Look, it’s Peter Pan, dear thespians. Whether Peter’s on land, sea or ice, this story is an age-old classic that will continue to be retold time and time again. This time, The Imperial Ice Stars who brought Cinderella to us in 2017 are back to tell JM Barrie’s beloved story of Peter Pan, the boy who never grows up.  

To squash the perception of shows on ice, let’s get into it. Is this a bunch of B-grade dancers in oversized Disney character costumes stomping around on the ice? Not at all. The time, effort and logistics put into this performance are extensive, detailed and impressive. The show comprises exceptional talent, namely former World, European and National Championship level skaters – a group of 23 performers that collectively hold more than 250 competition medals. You do the math! 

The preparation is grueling, with a full seven weeks of training to ensure a polished and seamless show. The result is a spellbinding show for all audiences, irrelevant of age. The choreography is world-class, with acrobatics, flying sequences and LED illumination to set the stage alight.  

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Since their debut in 2004, the Imperial Ice Stars have captivated more than four million people in 27 countries across five continents and have performed at some of the world’s most prestigious venues, including the London Palladium and three seasons at the Royal Albert Hall. So, yes, this one comes to you highly recommended by us! 

Peter Pan on Ice is taking place at The Teatro at Montecasino from 6 December 2019 to 11 January 2020. Tickets are available from Computicket and cost between R150 and R475 per person. 

Behind-the-scenes facts 

25 pairs of skates and 50 sets of blades are carried with the troupe on tour.  

To freight the whole show is approximately 25,000kg (or equivalent of 70) grand pianos.  

During a year, the flying pieces on stage will move approximately 27,000m during shows.  

14 tonnes of ice are created in the production – the same weight as nearly 3 elephants.  

2,500 litres of anti-freeze are used – that’s enough to fill 100 car-cooling systems.  

The ice reaches temperatures of -15°C, which is three times colder than your household freezer.  

In a theatre, the ice rink takes over 140 man-hours to build but only 30 man-hours to dismantle.  

The show always requests a hot water supply when ‘dressing’ the ice rink because hot water freezes quicker than cold due to the Mpemba effect.  

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In the last year during the show dismantling, there have been approximately 26,500 shovelfuls of ice deposited from the stage. 

By Frank-Lee in the front row 

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