REVIEW: Jack and the Beanstalk


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Jack and the Beanstalk


REVIEW: Jack and the Beanstalk Salisbury Playhouse.

By Kevin Gover

I’m sitting in the auditorium of the Salisbury Playhouse and my face is hurting. Aching. Tears are running down my face. And it’s just the interval. What on earth is going on?

I have never laughed out loud so much during a pantomime before – and the moments just before the interval are some of the best you will ever see… a version of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ that will have you crying with delight and which alone is worth the price of the ticket.

And I think therein lies part of the success. Bohemian Rhapsody? Yes, and there are lots of other very-well known songs too, right from the beginning that will have you singing along. And boy, can this lot sing. All of them. Not a duff note anywhere.

Moreover, there are no big names, and it’s absolutely not necessary. These guys could knock spots off others who are far more well known.

It’s very difficult to pick out people because they are ALL good. But I loved the baddy Nightshade (Night Fever, Night Owl… the jokes go on). Steven Serlin has more than a touch of Dr Evil in the delivery and he’s spot on. Everyone is bashed, even the over-50s.

Jack and the Banstalk

The audience are totally in love with Pat The Cow (Laura Crowhurst) and her performance is so engaging that the response is amazing too, and justifiably so.

Jack and the Beanstalk

Moments after the interval will have you gasping. There’s an actual giant! On stage! Maybe this is easy to do in this day and age, but I was blown away.

Audience interaction seemed effortless – especially with Richard Ede in total control as Dame Trott.

Jack and the Beanstalk

As with all clever pantomimes, the jokes and interaction are at two levels – both with the children shouting out (because they know everything!) and with the adults (well done Robin – can I have an invite to the wedding?!)

The jokes are old, very old, even older and mega old but with a twist. Even Southampton gets a bashing (yes!)

Congratulations also to the young people who are involved – the crew on duty during my show were the six-strong’Blue Beans’, and I’m sure the Red Beans are great too.

Jack and the Beanstalk

This is big, loud, bold and creative. The costumes sparkle, as does the set. The band are just three, but they sound like ten.

This is on another level – a triumph – and quite easily the best pantomime I have seen in years, (repeat THE best, not one of…). It’s well worth a trip down the Stockbridge Road. Astonishingly good.

Jack and the Beanstalk

The show continues until 7 January – but be warned that some performances have already sold out.