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Jack and the Beanstalk at Hunstanton’s Princess Theatre review: Audience participation brings plenty of festive feeling to pantomime

You know Christmas is coming when a traditional British pantomime gets under way, and this year’s Jack and the Beanstalk at Hunstanton’s Princess Theatre will fill you with festive cheer.

With multiple sets, lots of laugh-out-loud moments, and plenty of dancing and singing, this show offers a fantastic couple of hours of entertainment for all ages.

This production brings the classic tale to the seaside theatre, where the locals are being tormented by a Giant Blunderbore in the sky and his villain wife Fleshcreep, evilly played by Emma Deborah Ward.

The cast of Jack and the Beanstalk at Hunstanton's Princess Theatre. Picture: Ian Burt
The cast of Jack and the Beanstalk at Hunstanton's Princess Theatre. Picture: Ian Burt

On Saturday, I went along to the opening show with both my parents – it's safe to say we all thoroughly enjoyed it and we left feeling very festive.

Along the way, we met the villain Fleshcreep, who showcases her dark side – which got the audience booing as she enters the stage, especially when she is disguised as an old lady to trick Jack into giving Daisy the cow to her in return for magic beans.

Samuel Hague, as Jack Trot, got the crowd laughing out loud and joining in as he had several surprises for us.

These including getting custard pied (some ended up in my hair!), squirted by water pistols, batting balls about using a tennis racket, and Samuel inviting four people up on stage before the finale to perform The Music Man with him.

Throughout the two hours of fun, Phil Hoyles as Dame Trot kept the audience entertained with the well-known phrases “It's behind you”, and “Oh yes it is” – while he got the crowd to shout him when someone went near his bag.

The story follows Jack, his mum Dame Trot, Jack’s wife-to-be Princess Jill (played by Felicity Cowell-Clark), and their beloved Daisy the Cow, as Jack is tricked into selling Daisy to Fleshcreep for a bag of magic beans that grow overnight into a giant blow-up stalk. This leads him to the giant’s home to save both the cow and Princess Jill.

During the show, we enjoyed the many singing and dancing acts which featured the talented junior dance team from Rollason Stage School.

One of my favourite singing parts was when Trot, Jack, and Jill were exclaiming what they would be if they did not work on the farm, where they had to take it turns by using props to say what they wanted to do.

These included buckets of water being chucked in the audience when Jack said he would be a fireman – this part left the audience in hysterics.

This show is jam-packed with everything you would want from a family panto and leaves you full of joy.

Jack and the Beanstalk continues its run at Hunstanton’s Princess Theatre until Monday, January 1.

To book tickets, visit princesshunstanton.co.uk or call the box office on 01485 532252.

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