Review: Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime at Exeter Northcott Theatre

PUBLISHED: 09:07 19 December 2018 | UPDATED: 09:19 19 December 2018

Jessie May as Jack. Picture: Mark Dawson

Jessie May as Jack. Picture: Mark Dawson

Mark Dawson

Entertainment for all the family, with strong characters and plenty of laughs

Noel White as Silly Billy and Mark Jardine as Fleshcreep. Picture: Mark DawsonNoel White as Silly Billy and Mark Jardine as Fleshcreep. Picture: Mark Dawson

It’s the perfect pantomime story: likeable Jack, the evil giant and the magic beanstalk that grows up to the sky – not to mention the fairytale romance between Jack and Jill.

The show features, and is written and directed by, Exeter’s most popular Dame, Steve Bennett, along with a cast of eight actors, all with strong local links.

The panto opens with the trainee fairy Mistletoe (Emma Stansfield) spiritedly confronting the marvellously dashing baddie Fleshcreep, (Mark Jardine). Their sporadic exchanges of banter and insults throughout the show are among the best things about it.

Jessie May as Jack is an engaging and likeable character, Victoria Lucie is a sweet Jill, while Noel White as the village halfwit Silly Billy provides plenty of traditional panto-style comedy and audience interaction. The main cast are backed up by a talented chorus of young actors and dancers.

Mark Jardine as Fleshcreep. Picture: Mark DawsonMark Jardine as Fleshcreep. Picture: Mark Dawson

After the beanstalk has appeared at the end of Part One, the action moves to the giant’s castle. There is a slightly out-of-context but highly entertaining Rocky Horror Show number, and Giant Blunderbore himself, when he makes his appearance, is very impressive.

All in all this is great entertainment for children but with plenty for adults to enjoy as well. The pantomime is on until January 6, for further details visit https://exeternorthcott.co.uk/ or call the box office on 01392 726 363.

The pantomime's colourful finale. Picture: Mark DawsonThe pantomime's colourful finale. Picture: Mark Dawson

Dance routine at Giant Blunderbore's castle. Picture: Mark DawsonDance routine at Giant Blunderbore's castle. Picture: Mark Dawson

Noel White as Silly Billy and Steve Bennett as the Dame. Picture: Mark DawsonNoel White as Silly Billy and Steve Bennett as the Dame. Picture: Mark Dawson

The pantomime's colourful finale. Picture: Mark DawsonThe pantomime's colourful finale. Picture: Mark Dawson

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