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Jack & the Beanstalk (Edinburgh)

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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After a break of a few years, Andy Gray has rejoined the long-standing King's panto threesome, completed by Allan Stewart and Grant Stott. Stewart, one of the best panto Dames around, makes an impressive entrance and also has a Chitty Chitty Bang Bang moment hovering over the stalls. It isn't the gadgetry that you remember though - it is Stewart's Dame May McTrott's instant rapport with the audience, warmth and great humour. Stott makes a good baddy and Gray is welcome back.

Jack and the Beanstalk may not be the strongest of the panto tales but the story gets rather sidelined in this version, co-written and directed by Paul Elliot. There is no doubt that this is a big budget panto with impressive sets and costumes Hugh Durrant and good use of technology. However, while the big set-pieces are entertaining and well done, the rather perfunctory execution of Jack's tale, is to the detriment of the show as a whole.

That said , it is good to see the old team reunited and the panto is colourful, funny and entertaining enough.

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