- The Stage - https://www.thestage.co.uk -

Jack and the Beanstalk at Derby Arena – ‘dazzling and thoroughly engaging’

Morgan Brind is seemingly inexhaustible, writing, directing and designing for Little Wolf Entertainment’s outstanding Loughborough panto [1] while also playing Dame Trott for the company here at Derby Arena. He’s educating a comparatively new audience in the ways of panto, and making a dazzling success of it.

This is a vast space, quite unforgiving when theatre was first introduced here. Little Wolf has managed to fill it and warm it, with big performances all round, good projection and happy engagement with a largely family audience. Flying sequences are magic on this enormous stage. There’s a very impressive giant and a winsome pantomime cow. The beanstalk rises magnificently out of a toilet.

It’s a cracking good script, too, delivered with impishness by a strong and dedicated cast. Brind has command of the stage (and the slapstick) in outrageous outfits that range from Rocket Man to a greenhouse and a Swiss Army knife. Duncan James uses his fine singing voice as a very personable Jack, Lawrence Boothman is the evil Cess Pit (“My uncle is Bottomless”) and Richard Brindley an energetic Simple Simon. Lovely performances too from Lizzie Wofford as Fairy Story, Bethan Nash as Princess Jill and Peter Kenworthy as King Dominic.
https://www.thestage.co.uk/pantomime/ [2]

Verdict
A dazzling and thoroughly engaging family show, a big performances for a big arena

Production Information

Production
Jack and the Beanstalk
Venue
Derby Arena
City
Derby
Starts
December 8
Ends
January 5, 2019
Press night
December 8
Authors
Morgan Brind
Director
Tim Ford
Musical director
Peter John Dodsworth
Choreographer
Rae Piper, Ian Stapleton (fight director)
Design
Morgan Brind
Lighting
Mark Dymock
Sound
James Cook
Stage manager
Anna-Lisa Maree (company manager), Eliza Waters (deputy stage manager)
Production manager
Ben Pavey
Casting
Duncan James, Morgan Brind, Richard Brindley, Lizzie Wofford, Lawrence Boothman, Peter Kenworthy, Bethan Nash
Producer
Little Wolf Entertainment Ltd
Running time
2hrs 40mins