A magic beanstalk reaching way up into the clouds seems highly appropriate for what must be the longest running pantomime anywhere.
This is by no means the only reason for celebrating the return of panto to Hunstanton’s Princess Theatre, because Jack and the Beanstalk certainly wowed the audience of primary pupils from Little Downham who attended a special performance last Friday morning.
They were soon cheering the goodies and booing the baddies so loudly they could probably be heard over the noise of the road works in Heacham!
Ryan Taylor as the giant’s wicked henchman, Fleshcreep, was very convincing and showed his versatility when it came to singing the ever popular ‘Jailhouse Rock’, accompanied by young performers from the Rollason Stage School.
If these youthful singers and dancers have their sights set on careers in show business, they have the ideal role model in Lucy Rollason.
Following on from her starring role as Princess Jasmine in ‘Aladdin’ at the Princess Theatre last year, Lucy is back as Jill. Needless to say she is playing opposite Jack, portrayed by Simon Hollosi, who in real life is addicted to adventure. This must make climbing beanstalks, and fighting giants, mere child’s play!
Of course, he has help from the fantastic Rebecca Fenwick as the Fairy – apparently from Liverpool but with a very convincing Irish accent when passing herself off as a little old lady!
If Jack is not too bright when it comes to swapping a cow for a bag of beans, his brother, Silly Billy, played to perfection by Chris Burr, is clearly a natural when it comes to entertaining children.
Add to this line-up, Christopher Marlowe as the very experienced Dotty old Dame, and Spencer K Gibbins as the none too bright King Ethelred, and you have all the ingredients for a traditional pantomime.
The giant has an inflated sense of his own importance, but in spite of his enormous stature, together with unpleasant habits and features, it is unlikely that even the youngest members of the audience will suffer nightmares.
Director Linda Newport and choreographer Josh Harding are to be congratulated for producing such colourful and fast moving family entertainment.
The pantomime runs until New Year’s Day and tickets are available from the box office on 01485 532252 or go to www.princesshunstanton.co.uk