The recipe for a good panto, as any good fairy will tell you, is plenty of singing, lots of shouting, some outrageous dame costumes and a sprinkling of cringey, some times near the knuckle jokes.
Thankfully ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ currently being performed daily at the Corn Exchange in King’s Lynn has all that and a lot more besides and certainly proved a hit with the audience of 506 local school children yesterday (Tuesday) afternoon.
The cast had them eating out of the palms of their hands from the opening number and by the time Jack and Princess Jill were tying the knot at the end the children were dancing in the aisles.
Ian Marr as Dame Trott was suitably outrageous, with some lovely ad-libs along the way, while Scott Cripps as Simple Simon was foolishly loveable and boy did the children love him screaming for high fives as he and the cast ran up around the auditorium at various points in the show.
For star spotters there were a couple of famous faces in the cast: Ian Reddington, off of Eastenders was a suitably evil baddie as the giant’s henchman Fleshcreep and Charles Dennett Posh Charles from KLFM pulled off the role of Lord Chamberlain with aplomb.
There were plenty of flashes, bangs and laughs along the way and the arrival on stage of a full-size giant brought gasps from the audience - he certainly was a scene stealer.
The leads: Rebecca Lisewski (Jack), Jessica Croll (Jill) and Kayleigh McKnight (Fairy Fuschia) gave powerful performances and the children loved the fact that many of the songs performed were from this year’s charts (albeit with a panto twist occasionally) - these included Taylor Swift’s ‘Look What you Made me Do’ and Justin Beiber’s ‘Despacito’.
The backing dancers were enthusiastic and gave energetic performances throughout and the fact there was a live band playing alongside the stage action added to the atmosphere.
All in all ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ is good fun for all the family and is certainly worth a visit this festive season - Oh yes it is!