Jack & the Beanstalk

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The annual pantomime big show at Norwich Theatre Royal with an equally big cast including stars from TV perform Jack & The Beanstalk.

Nightshade is working for Giant Bonecrunch collecting rent and taxes from the good people of Norwich, who are struggling to pay. Dame Trott and Jack have Pat the Cow, which they must sell to raise funds. Unfortunately, Nightshade sells beans to Jack and takes the money, however they are beans stolen from Fairy Fullobeans, which means they are magical beans! They grow into a huge beanstalk which reaches Cloudland, where the giant lives. Jack climbs up and with his friends he saves the day.

The classic story has been heavily adapted to suit today’s society and reflect real life, well, as much as you can in a panto about magic beans and giants! Being worried about paying the rent, heavy taxes from up above and all these stressful elements of life, however the character’s deal with each scenario by being brave, working together, supporting each other and trying your best. These were the overriding themes with the fairytale storyline attempting to string these positivity scenes together and therefore it did lose its way a little. But let’s not be too critical, it’s a panto with a great message and this is what’s important.

The cast were all very good, there were a lot of personalities to have time on stage and showcase their talents, and they certainly kept us all entertained with their singing, dancing, shouting and bad jokes. The audience were doing plenty of shouting and singing as instructed and this always gives the kids a sense of fun.

Each scene was full of colour, costumes, and music and the set and props were fantastic! The stage scenery was exceptionally put together, there were a lot of scene/set changes however the results were worth the effort. There were town scenes, inside and outside the castle, Cloudland, the dungeons, the Super Sucker Factory….many scenes where a lot of effort was involved. And let’s not forget the two masterpieces: the giant and the beanstalk. The inflatable beanstalk was huge and filled the stage, they even had strands in the theatre foyer so it looked as though it had grown through the building – great idea. The giant model was brilliant, in size and scariness. A very creative team behind this show and it was very noticeable, and superb!

Pat the Cow was a fun character in herself and is linked to the Norwich Theatre Royal’s appeal. Purchasing a Pat the Cow teddy supports the appeal:  Theatre of Possibility programme which provides creative sessions to support the wellbeing of young people who are experiencing severe challenges.

King Nigel – Rufus Hound
Jack – Joe Tracini
Pat the Cow – Amanda Henerson
Nightshade – Dayle Hudson
Princess Jill – Sally Hodgkiss
Fairy Fullobeans – Linda John-Pieere
Dame Trott – Richard Gauntlett
Giant Bonecrunch – Karl Minns

Norwich Theatre Royal

Photo Credits Richard Jarmy Photography

This review appeared on GrapevineLIVE


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