Vibrant, colourful, loud, boisterous, energetic and funny on so many levels, this production brilliantly delivers on its guarantee to have audiences on their feet.
Carla Freeman, Francis Tucker and Toby Lord in Jack and the Beanstalk at the Playhouse, Liverpool Photo: Robert Day
The cast is what makes the show work, as each actor not only enthusiastically plays multiple roles, but also performs the music and songs live on stage to give the whole thing the feel of being at a gig. Added to this is the incorporation of video, which could have come across as something of an unnecessary gimmick, but works extremely well as it adds further layers to the entertainment.
As for the performances, Toby Lord as Jack Daniels, Aretha Ayeh as Allana and Marianne Benedict as Betsy Bubbles and her evil twin Esmeralda are all superb, and Griffin Stevens as Cad almost steals the show. Yet it is Playhouse stalwarts Adam Keast and Francis Tucker who remain the scaffold around which this pantomime is built and, as Ernie the Milkman and Mary from the Dairy respectively, theirs are performances that many will envy.
With songs ranging from the Hollies’ The Air that I Breathe to Adele’s Skyfall, there is something to suit a variety of tastes, ensuring that audiences leave the auditorium enveloped in a warm Christmas glow.