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Jack and the Beanstalk

“Packed with community spirit”

Originally produced at Theatre Royal Stratford East in 2012, with a book by Paul Sirett and songs by Wayne Nunes and Perry Melius, this production of Jack and the Beanstalk has been specifically reworked for Theatre Peckham.

It features a cast of young, local actors playing opposite professional performers, including panto stalwart Michael Bertenshaw, re-imagining the role he played in Stratford seven years ago.

Bertenshaw’s rag-tag dame immediately wins over his new audience with his hang-dog expression and gentle delivery. It’s an appealingly low-key opener, but Suzann McLean’s production never really picks up the pace. Nunes and Melius’s songs deploy a range of styles from ska to hip hop but they are over before they’ve really begun, and the whole thing feels desperately unfocused.

Recycling materials to create the set and costumes is a great idea but Lily Faith Knight’s cluttered design doesn’t make the most of it.

However the young cast display bags of enthusiasm, especially Cyrus Abraham-Odukale as an animated Jack. The show’s real live-wire is Nova Skyla Foueillis-Mose, as the cheeky half of a henchman double-act. It’s heartening to see so many young people on stage, clearly enjoying themselves, but the direction needs to be tighter.

The Border review at Theatre Peckham, London – ‘a fun-filled allegory about freedom of movement’

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Production Details
Production nameJack and the Beanstalk
VenueTheatre Peckham
StartsDecember 4, 2019
EndsDecember 22, 2019
Running time2hrs
ComposerPerry Melius, Wayne Nunes
Book writerPaul Sirett
DirectorSuzann Mclean
Musical directorIan Macgregor
ChoreographerSusan Lawson-Reynolds, Tamara Mckay-Patterson
Set designerLily Faith Knight
Lighting designerTim Speechley
Sound designerIssac Robinson
CastMichael Bertenshaw, Michael Gonsalves, Yinka Williams, Kitty Hollingsworth, Luis Gustavo Silva Navarro, Tamara Mckay-Patterson
Stage managerAlfiah Jade Brown, Gioia Farris
ProducerTheatre Peckham
VerdictPantomime packed with community spirit and performed with enthusiasm but lacking in professional polish
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Paul Vale

Paul Vale

Paul Vale

Paul Vale

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