With no backdrop for scenery and just half a dozen wooden crates for a set, would that be enough to stage a pantomime?
Visitors to The Park Theatre to see Jack and the Beanstalk will tell you yes it is!
As the cast consisting of just five performers Michael Cahill, Omar Ibrahim, Gloria Onitri, Killian Macardle, Paige Round presented to us an alternative panto written by Jez Bond and Mark Cameron, with original humour that climaxed with a well deserved standing ovation.
It was refreshing to see a pantomime that did not depend on the same tired old gags that we have heard a hundred times before.
We still had Daisy the cow, who looked like no other cow I had seen before. We had a beanstalk that managed to grow to at least 8 inches. We still had romance with Grenthal falling in love with Geoff the smallest giant in the world, who after kissing Grenthal declared that “Kissing is better than fighting whatever religion you are.”
In this production the cast do not call out “Hello Boys and Girls.”
They call out “Who Loves Tupperware?”
To which the audience are invited to respond with “We do.”
So remember if you do go along to see this production, to bring your Tupperware containers with you as Jack’s mother Tupperware Tina will be giving out prizes to the best ones.
And never before have I seen a pantomime featuring the Shepherds Gonzalez, the cast double up as these highly amusing characters, who performed with energy and pace that kept the show moving along with never a dull moment.
In true pantomime tradition there was audience participation throughout. And they all lived happily for ever after.
Whether you are a fan of pantomime or not, I recommend that you go along to The Park Theatre, for what I would describe as being a truly enjoyable night out.
Review by Johnny Tait
JACK AND THE BEANSTALK
Book, music and lyrics by Jez Bond & Mark Cameron
Dame – Michael Cahill
Jack – Omar Ibrahim
Grimm – Gloria Onitiri
Geoff – Killian Macardle
Grenthel – Paige Round
Co-Written & Directed by Jez Bond
Co-Written by Mark Cameron
Musical Director / Orchestrator Dimitri Scarlato
Costume Design by Josephine Sundt
Lighting Design by Arnim Friess
Set Design by Jonny Dobson
Sound Design by Chris Bartholomew
Choreographer Melli Bond
Fight Director Claire Llewellyn of RC-ANNIE Ltd
Assistant Musical Director Rebecca Chalmers
Assistant Directors Sophie Gill & Tamar Saphra
Casting Directors Lucy Jenkins CDG and Sooki McShane CDG
Production Manager Sarah Cowan
Company Stage Manager Sophie Sierra
Assistant Stage Manager Lisa-Marie Lewis
Costume Supervisor / Wardrobe Mistress Jessica Bishop
27th November 2014 – 4th January 2015