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Jack and the Beanstalk
Theatre Royal Bury St. Edmunds
until 10th January 2016
With a wonderful mix of fairy tales, a retro 60s/ 70s feel, show tunes, tap dancing and slapstick. Jack and The Beanstalk left the rehearsal studio in the shopping centre and came to life on the stage of The Theatre Royal in Bury St Strongwinds this week.
I don’t recall the original story featuring Jill of Jack and Jill fame, nor do I remember an Elvis impersonator… Duke Box! But wait, this is Panto, where you suspend reality, sit back and enjoy yourself – and this we did.
Although Panto seems to have lost the tradition of principal boys being played by girls, the Dame remains – and there is nothing like this Dame. James Parkes plays Tina Trumpington brilliantly. Tina’s fault or superpower (depending on how you look at it) is her flatulence. When wondering how to hide the smell of the humans from the giant she pleads to the boys and girls in the audience for advice – as one they shouted “Fart!”
The unfortunate man in the third row, who gave his name only as “Grandad”, when Tina set her eye on him, had little idea that he would end up in the spotlight conducting the audience in the second half. These are the moments that make each performance different, on another night who knows what might happen. Panto can be unpredictable – oh yes it can!
The experienced cast put their all into this show, not least in a complex but wonderfully accurate stage rendition of Bohemian Rhapsody in the middle of the Giant’s Kitchen. The professionals were more than ably assisted by the young dancers from Hazelwood Dance Studios giving this show a unique local feel. More importantly it provides these young people with the opportunity to be part of a professional show.
This show is cleverly directed and well delivered, with all of the cast in extremely good voice. So if you want a few hours escapism from the mania that is the run up to Christmas, book your tickets and get down to Bury St Strongwinds and prepare to scream out “What’s up Jack?” – you will laugh, that’s a given!
Jack and the Beanstalk runs at the Theatre Royal, Bury St Edmunds until 10th January. Many of the performances have limited availability so make sure you book your tickets soon to avoid disappointment. Click here to book.
Duke Box – Chris Clarkson, Sue Chef – Nancy Hill, Jack – Oliver Mawdsley, Ghastly Gordon – Alan Mehdizadeh, Jill – Louise Olley, Tina Trumpington – James Parkes, Wendy & Dottee – Leonie Spilsbury, The Giant/male understudy – David Zachary
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