The annual (but far from traditional) Leeds pantomime is back with a bang this year, as we’re transported to the magical realm of the giants in Paul Holman Associates production of Jack and the Beanstalk. Filled with classic panto tomfoolery and shenanigans (and plenty of jokes for the adults, too!) it’s one not to be missed this festive season.

Courtesy of Paul Holman Associates.

Courtesy of Paul Holman Associates.

Paul Holman & John Ogle’s reinterpretation of a classic fairy tale is one that will have you holding your sides with laughter, and will keep the little ones giggling away throughout. Full of puns that we know should barely warrant a groan, the delivery makes all the difference and you’ll find yourself laughing the night away – just the way a pantomime should be. The extravagant costumes and melodramatic acting style create a real sense of nostalgia – memories of school trips and too much sugar accompanied by bright lights and colourful sets will come flooding back, and you most certainly won’t be disappointed.

In keeping with its younger audience the show gives us some incredible musical numbers from pop culture, including hits from Arianna Grande and Take That – the vocals from Jack Trott (Danny Colligan) and his Princess Amelia (Mary Hodgkinson) are a step above your average panto, as is the chemistry the cast have on stage. Even through a few blunders (a clumsy ghost and a villain who can’t stop giggling) the cast pull together and are above professional – in the most silly way possible, of course; it is a pantomime, after all.
Especially worth a mention are the wonderful talents of Jack’s brother Simon Trott (Jez Edwards) who returnS for his 21st year in the panto business here in Leeds and brings a huge chunk of comedic value and cheeky charm. His audience interaction keeps them laughing all evening – as does the talents of the wonderful Dame Trott (Myra Dubois). In keeping with the traditions of panto, this character is definitely there for the adults in the audience, with the not-so-subtle jokes that could split your sides with laughter, and a never ending supply of improvised zingers so great that even the cast can’t help but chuckle.
And of course, it’s pantomime, so we’re guaranteed to be kept happy when good triumphs over evil, Jack defeats the giant and they all live….well, you know the rest!
3/5

Review written by Hazel Hinchcliffe.

Jack and the Beanstalk is currently showing at Carriageworks Theatre until Saturday 6th January 2018. For more information on the production, visit here…

Written by Theatrefullstop