REVIEW: Jack and the Beanstalk

Salisbury Journal: Debra Stephensen as Jack, with Daisy the Cow Debra Stephensen as Jack, with Daisy the Cow

SUMPTUOUS sets and super staging, plus a divine dame made this year’s offering at the Lighthouse a real treat.

FORMER Corrie and Bad Girls star Debra Stephenson pulled on her tights to play the principal boy, while Game of Thrones’ Patrick O’Kane played the rotten old baddie Fleshcreep, to a thunderous roar of booing by the most contentedly raucous audience I think I’ve ever been in.

TomBright was a marvellous Dame Trott, and Neil Syme drew plenty of laughs as the hapless king. The classic story was adapted to include modern tunes such as Rhianna’s Diamond, sung very sweetly by the princess (Natalie Bush), and the giant was slain in quite an innovative way at the end – I’ll not ruin the surprise for you!

Stephenson’s impressions are one of the highlights of the show – there aren’t many women who can really do them, and her quickfire Ann Robinson, Davina McCall et al was great fun.

My only negatives with this panto were that the interval should have been earlier to break up the action more evenly, and Fairy Bow Bells (Joanne Darby) could have been a more complete character rather than just wacky northerner, which would have helped knit the show together and added to the laughs.

She is too young to emulate Su Pollard, really, and in the effort some of her best lines were delivered so fast no one had chance to appreciate them. If she slows down a touch to let us catch up, she’ll be hilarious.

Local children were wonderful as backing dancers and the two children we took along were absolutely spellbound.

Top stuff.

MIRANDA ROBERTSON

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