Jack and the Beanstalk, Abbey Theatre, Nuneaton, to December 16.
The Abbey Players brought their ever-popular pantomime to the Abbey Theatre, returning with Jack and the Beanstalk.
With a twist to the traditional story, the villagers are being terrorised by evil Fleshcreep the Giant’s henchman, played by Richard Baldwin. Dame Trott (Nathan Harvey) faces eviction after falling behind in her rent, so in order to raise money, Jack, played by Samantha Duncombe, sets off to the market to sell Daisy the Cow.
Alas Jack is tricked into selling Daisy to Fleshcreep for a bag of beans but with the help of Fairy Beansprout the beans grow a magic beanstalk into the Giant’s kingdom in the clouds. Fleshcreep then kidnaps Jack’s love, Jill, so he climbs up the beanstalk to rescue her.
The growing of the beanstalk was ingenious, with the young audience transfixed with the lighting effects and clever dance routine. There were a few technical hitches but like every first night, this was to be expected.
The Abbey players delivered a wonderful stage set, ear splitting sound effects, and some enthusiastic acting and singing, particularly in the much younger members of the chorus; this panto was held together valiantly.
With a twelve-year-old in tow, I was worried that maybe this might be my last chance to cajole my daughter into coming to see just one more pantomime! I needn’t have worried too much as this production proved, no one is ever too old to enjoy a rip roaring panto (even an almost teenager)! Oh no she isn't, oh yes she is!
*Our apologies for this review not appearing during its run. A technical hitch delayed publication.