Review
Story added:  9:29am Fri Dec 16, 2016
A giant of a panto that is full of beans
Wednesday 7th December, 2016 - Palace Theatre, Newark
A giant of a panto that is full of beans
Jack And The Beanstalk
Jack And The Beanstalk runs until December 31
Jack and the Beanstalk, this year’s pantomime at the Palace Theatre, Newark, is a spectacular production for young and old alike.

It features plenty of thigh-slapping, hilarious slapstick, fabulous song and dance routines, and lots of audience participation.

Although it is a traditional pantomime, a few modern twists have been added to give it an extra dimension.

The beanstalk is an all-singing and moving prop during a delightful ultra-violet scene, while a ghost scene features a giant cockroach.

The story is set in Merrydale, where once a year the queen and her daughter, Princess Tamara (Kate Eaves) bring out a magic harp to play a tune.

However, the traditional panto baddie, Fleshcreep, played so well by Todd Carty, of Grange Hill, Tucker’s Luck and Emmerdale fame, has other plans.

An evil henchman of Giant Blunderbore (Dean Burne) Fleshcreep decides to steal the harp for his master and leave the villagers to their doom — and then returns to kidnap the princess to be the giant’s bride.

Carty makes a perfect Fleshcreep and, with a rather posh but deep voice, reminds me of the actor Terry-Thomas — a cheeky chappy who, despite being evil,

is rather likeable.

Dressed in purple and black with a long, flowing black and white coat, Carty has the audience booing and hissing every time he appears on stage.

Counteracting the evil of Fleshcreep is the fairy (Ann Micklethwaite) dressed in green and white, and surrounded by a handful of flower fairies. She brings even more humour and has a lovely voice when singing There’s Magic In The Air and Find Your Grail.

As in the traditional story, Dame Trot (Tim Freeman) and her two sons, Simple Simon (Kevin McGreevy) and Jack (Felicity Skiera) run a dairy farm. Jack falls in love with the princess and, when he finds she has been kidnapped, pledges to defeat the giant.

To make ends meet, Jack has to sell the farm’s only cow, Daisy, at market.

However, instead of getting five gold pieces for Daisy, he ends up with five magic beans from a fairy.

His furious mother throws the beans out of the window. Overnight they turn into a giant beanstalk and Jack sets off to rescue his princess.

Skiera is great as the adventurous and brave Jack, excelling in the song Colour My World. Eaves makes a pretty Princess Tamara and the two look good together in the uptempo Can’t Stop The Feeling.

Katherine Lunney is funny as the forgetful Queen of Merrydale and Burne needs fine balancing skills in the giant’s large costume to move about the stage

without falling over.

Children were mesmerised by the giant and loved the slapstick provided by Dame Trot, dressed in an array of spotted and striped outfits, and Simple Simon.

The dancing, led by Perri-Kae Burton and Tom McDonald, is exquisite and features a handful of young, energetic local dancers.

Jack And The Beanstalk, staged by Imagine Theatre, is one of the best pantomimes I have seen at the Palace with quick scene changes making it a magical

production.

It is continuing its run until December 31 — DAS
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