This one’s not to be missed!

Jack and the Beanstalk
Jack and the Beanstalk
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Jack and The Beanstalk - Belgrade Theatre,

Coventry - Review by Amanda Chalmers

Panto season has arrived - oh yes it has!

This production of Jack and The Beanstalk, which opened last week, is the most famous ‘tall story’ of all time. And it lends itself well to the panto genre.

And this version, written and directed by Ian Lauchlan (who also plays Dame Trott) is the perfect way to kick off the festive season.

Full of fun, the cast work hard to keep the laughs coming thick and fast in this slick production that ticks all the panto boxes.

And, in true tradition, when things don’t always go to plan, the ad-libs are effortless. Audience interaction plays a huge part in the proceedings too - much to the delight of the youngsters.

Not so much to the delight of the unsuspecting gentleman in the audience though who was nominated by a friend to be called up on stage and drawn into a custard pie-style scene. Hysterical.

Special mentions for Craig Hollingsworth as the loveable Simple Simon and Alyssa Martyn as Jack. But it’s director Ian Lauchlan’s on-stage antics as the panto dame which stole most of the spotlight - his performance as bright as his impressive array of outfits.

But what’s a pantomime without the panto villain? William Finkenrath is brilliant as the menacing Fleshcreep. The hapless Giant sidekick’s continuous bungled attempts to steal the harp are one of the show’s greatest sources of amusement.

And watch out for the stage entrance of the Giant himself. Impressive set and production by West End standards, let alone Coventry.

If you’ve decided on a night out at the pantomime this Christmas, but are unsure which to pick, you’re onto a winner with Jack and the Beanstalk.

So gather the family and head on down to Prickly Bottom (a.k.a the Belgarde stage) for some thigh-slapping, musical fun of the highest calibre.