With magic fairies, jokes, dance routines, romance and startling effects galore, Jack and Beanstalk is a fast-paced, slick, family production that draws on all the elements of good old-fashioned panto while at the same time presenting something that is fresh, vibrant and full of joy. With a strong musical element, the song and dance routines are of the highest standard, while the superb sound and lighting effects add tremendously to the whole.
The seven-strong cast, accompanied by a chorus of children, maintains superb energy throughout, never missing a beat, and there is a marvellous sense of teamwork on stage. Tim Stedmen as Simple Simon creates a fantastic rapport with the audience, while Philip Stewart as the evil villain, Fleshcreep, is delightfully wicked, and the younger audience members were utterly entranced and participating with gusto from the start.
Though at times slightly wordy, this is a slick, assured, heart-warming panto, so if you fancy a night of hissing and booing, he’s behind you!, and oh no you didn’t!, then this is the night for you.
Jack and the Beanstalk runs at the Harrogate Theatre until 13 January.