Tuesday, April 23

Jack and the Beanstalk – Epstein Theatre

I was invited to watch the Easter pantomime at the Epstein Theatre last night, from the get-go it was full of energy, participation and pyrotechnics. Jack (Timothy Lucas) really fancied this girl called Jill (Maddie Hope Coelho) and wanted to ask her out. Jill invites Jack to her party but sadly he had school. However, she agrees to go to his school as long as he came to the party. All was not right in the land, as the Flesh Creep (Abigail Middleton) was tasked by the giant to capture the princess and something to eat. So, with this in mind she comes up with a dastardly plan to buy Jack’s old milk Cow Doddy. So that Jack could have the money to keep the farm his mum Dame Trott (Mark Two) and his brother Simple Simon (Lewis Devine) owns. Want to know more then you’ll have to see it, no spoilers here.

Firstly, kudos to the director Olivia Sloyan who stepped in last minute to play the role of fairy due to their being a sickness within the cast. When she came on to speak joy and a bit of rhyme the place sparkled (literally).

My thoughts on the show were that it was high energy and really involved the audience. Picking an odd few out to embarrass or even when showcasing the children on stage. I particularly loved the neon puppet scenes which was both clever and hilarious. However, there were a few technical difficulties for example a microphone went down so Dame Trott sounded muffled on a few scenes in the first half and some sound fx cues were miss timed which killed the joke for me. Some jokes I felt were a bit to adult for the show. I get pantomime is always risky but even I thought that maybe it was a little far.

The story was ok, but I felt some bits dragged and felt repetitive for example every time simple Simon came on and we had to sing the same song. However, I will say that the younger audience members seemed to have loved it. They screamed and cheered so loud I though the roof would come off. So that said maybe I’m just being too old.

This pantomime has great potential the lights and pyrotechnics alone we’re mesmerising and in some cases blinding when the stones came on. I just felt that the performance didn’t quite hit the mark and I’ve seen better. But as it was press night maybe some nerves there due to a last minute change In the cast.

Jack and the Beanstalk is a Regal Entertainments LTD pantomime who also have one in St Helen’s. So, if you need another fix of it’s behind you then it’s worth knowing. It was nice to see the cast from the other pantomime come and support one another.

Jack and the Beanstalk continues until 24th April, https://www.epsteintheatre.co.uk/events/jack-and-the-beanstalk-2/

Reviewer: Luke Stephenson

Reviewed: 14th April 2022

North West End UK Rating: ★★★