Welcome! This is your first free article. Get more free articles when you sign up with your email.

Jack and the Beanstalk


There is a pleasing female focus in this year’s pantomime at Glasgow’s King’s Theatre, with four of the six named characters played by women.

Elaine C Smith leads from the front as Dame Trot, with Anne Smith also on good form as the vicious Mrs Blunderbore; Angela Darcy is a force for good as Mammy Nature and Naomi Cowe’s Princess Jill refuses to be the prize for any giant killer, resolving to kill the monster herself.

Alongside them Johnny Mac brings his vast comic chops to bare on the role of Jack Trot, who’s in love with Jill, but can’t bring himself to speak to her, but impressionist Jonathan Watson is sadly underused as King Hector.

Though Smith revels in the series of local ‘Glasvegas’ settings, particularly an Irn Bru factory with an outfit to match, she could be a more dynamic performer. Her delivery still sounds rehearsed rather than spontaneous, only coming into her own when she’s singing, while Alan McHugh’s rewrites of his original lines for her dame role do not always make sense.

The main issue is that Johnny Mac occupies much the same comic space as Smith and director Jonny Bowles hasn’t done much to balance out their scenes together. When alone on stage, Mac owns it. His take on the song sheet, involving four kids from the audience, is impeccably done with patience and no little determination to get the routine worked out right.

Related to this Review

Goldilocks and the Three BearsGoldilocks and the Three Bears

Production Details
Production nameJack and the Beanstalk
VenueKing's Theatre
StartsNovember 30, 2019
EndsJanuary 5, 2020
Running time2hrs 25mins
AuthorElaine C Smith, Alan Mchugh, Johnny Mac
DirectorJonny Bowles
Set designerQdos .
Costume designerRon Briggs
Lighting designerAlex Marshall
Sound designerDan Gregory
CastJonathan Watson, Elaine C Smith, Angela Darcy, Anne Smith, Johnny Mac, Naomi Cowe
VerdictDespite a decent cast featuring Elaine C Smith this is panto-by-numbers
Add New Comment
You must be logged in to comment.
Thom Dibdin

Thom Dibdin

Thom Dibdin

Thom Dibdin

Your subscription helps ensure our journalism can continue

Invest in The Stage today with a subscription starting at just £3.98
The Stage
© Copyright The Stage Media Company Limited 2020
Linked In