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Jack and the Beanstalk review at Princess Theatre Torquay

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The snow-covered village of Merryvale brings a pretty seasonal look to this pantomime. Tom Owen’s born-to-be-bad Baron Blackfly, with a scene-stealing canine companion, fights the age-old battle with Jade Ellis’s Fairy Peapod whose soulful voice and engaging personality gives the character interesting edginess.

Light on his feet and with an excellent singing voice, Stuart Lumb’s Tilly Trott is a traditional Dame, outrageously costumed and larger than life. As a duo dressed in bright pink gowns, he partners Mark Stuart-Wood’s King Willy The Umpteenth in a remarkable duet that reflects the pair’s Britain’s Got Talent drag act, Bosom Buddies.

Maintaining the magic in this pacy production, Caroline Barnes is a versatile performer, her pretty Princess Jill having charm and sincerity.

The band directed by Dave Hughes sets mood and pace from the beginning. Favourite ingredients include a lively action song, dramatically lit dance routines choreographed by Vicky Leggett and an exhausting Twelve Days of Christmas that keeps the actors on their toes with comedy ad libs to huge laughter.

Rachel Baird’s impressive Giant Blunderbore towers over young Jack (Russ Spencer) as he engages the Giant in a fight that saves Jill from becoming the giant’s bride, or his breakfast.

Production Information

Princess Theatre, Torquay, December 13-January 5

Simon Barry
New Pantomime Productions Ltd
Cast includes
Jade Ellis, Russ Spencer, Caroline Barnes, Tom Owen, Stuart Wade, Mark Stuart-Wood, Stuart Lumb, Rachel Baird
Running time
2hrs 20mins

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