IT'S not often you root for the bad guy, especially in children's favourite Peter Pan.

But that was the case in Blackpool as Emmerdale’s Tom Lister and BBC Radio Lancashire’s Steve Royle stole the show as villainous Captain Hook and his comedic sidekick Mr Smee.

The show opened in London, with Steve Royle’s secondary character Mr Mee warming the crowd up with some stand-up comedy entrenched with hints of adult humour.

The stunning sets and a well-written adaptation of JM Barrie's original contained several references to pop culture from Star Wars to the X Factor, which kept the audience hooked from the start.

Lister and Royle gave such assured performances that scenes without them simply left the audience counting the seconds until their return.

Royle was given the funniest lines, which he delivered brilliantly, and he worked well as the show’s warm-up and warm-down act.

His improv, particularly in the second half, when nervous children were pulled from the audience, had the audience in full-blown belly laughs. Lister, who played Carl King in the ITV soap until 2012, interacted well with the crowd and was the typical love-to hate-villain, although his occasional disappearance into the expensive seats left those in the upper circles straining to see.

His antics had the crowd booing and laughing in equal measures, and it was really quite difficult to dislike him.

Unfortunately, their performances were not matched, by that of The Voice hopeful Jordan Lee Davies as Peter Pan Although he was the best singer, he’s clearly not an actor. While tripping over the odd line on opening night is perhaps forgivable, delivering poor jokes that miss their target, partnered by a lack of on stage presence, simply isn’t. His failings failed to take the shine off an exemplary performance by the rest of the cast that included Radio Wave's Hayley Kay and Blackburn’s own Nicola Avino.

The sheer genius of Royle alone makes it a show worth seeing.

The show runs until Sunday, January 5. Details from the box office on 01253 743346