Jack and the Beanstalk hits great heights in Halifax

30th January 2024

Here is another amazing review for our production of Jack and the Beanstalk at the Viaduct theatre reviewed by Jenny Bray for “What’s good to do” 

Pantomime season is in full swing as Christmas is fast approaching.  The Viaduct is a more intimate location to attend if you want to feel really close to the full production.  The theatre is set up with the stage in the middle with rows of seats on both main sides. 

The show is Jack and the Beanstalk, which centres around Jack and his Mum with Jill and her Dad in the first half.  There are other interesting pairings of names too later in the show.  There is, of course, Daisy the Cow too.  She provides milk for their amusingly named dairy business.  There are lots of gags throughout, some of which are aimed at all and some are more for the adults.  There is of course a ‘standard panto’ bench scene with a ghost, although I particularly liked the twist with the ghost at the end of this version….Oh and listen out for Fairy Sugarsnap’s alternative name.

This pantomime was put on by Panto Ever After.  The cast for this show is quite small but very talented who also had nine young dancers supporting.  They come out and perform during various parts of the show and add a little extra to it.

Scott Worsfold has returned as the Dame this year.  His character is Dame Tilly Trot.  There were several outfit changes throughout.  I especially liked the first one after the interval.  The Dame took a liking to a male member sitting in the front row, with various references to him once he’d become the ‘chosen one’. The whole cast were strong, including Barrie Ryan English who played Idle Jack, Elizabeth Robin, Jill, Jo monks, Fairy and Rik Thorpe played  the king. However, I particularly enjoyed the ‘baddie’, called Fleshcreep who was  played by Richard Galloway, with his exaggerated moves and facial expressions.

There was a very funny sketch once they were up in the clouds, about there being more than one castle so needing to know which one the giant lived in.  Jack just doesn’t get it, which makes it all the more funny when the others are clearly telling him the names of the giants living in the other three many times over.

Outfits were fantastic, typical colourful pantomime wear, except Flesh creep who was mainly in black as a true baddie should be! I loved the sparkly shoes that Fairy Sugarsnap wore and the bright pink boots the Dame had on.  Moving props were minimal although one side was set up as Jack and his Mum’s house during the first act and then the giant’s castle for the second act.  The point where the beanstalk was shown growing was very clever.

Pantomimes are a great way of introducing young children to the theatre.  This one is particularly suitable for younger children and the shows are on at family friendly times with performances at 2.30 and 6.30pm over the Christmas period.  There are also a couple at 11am.  The ticket prices are also very reasonable.  It was fun and interactive, with a Spice Girls medley mixed in and the addition of young dancers.

Rating: 4/5

Reviewed by Jenny Bray



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