It was Panto time again the other day, this time it was time to take a journey with Jack and climb the Beanstalk at Theatr Colwyn.
Jack and the Beanstalk was brought to us by the hugely successful team behind Cinderella and is being presented by Magic Light Productions in association with Theatr Colwyn and Conwy County Borough Council, the panto is a charming love story with adventure, magic, puppets, comedy, song and dance all perfect for a family panto.
Jack and the Beanstalk, a Traditional Panto
Theatr Colwyn is a rather small theatre, but don’t let that distract you from what the theatre can produce and this year’s pantomime is a show that all ages will enjoy, an evening of belly laughs, sing-a-longs and a performance that harkens back to those days of the traditional pantomime that is such a joy to watch.
Stuart Loughland who produces the show annually plays Jacks mother, Dame Tilly Trott. This is his sixth year appearing in the pantomime at Theatr Colwyn, I have to say that Stuart time on stage had me in stitches with his performance, I remember seeing panto as a child and Jack and the Beanstalk reminded me so much of those days.
Stuart’s Dame is probably one of the best and funniest I’ve seen in years, the costumes are so vividly colourful and the performance is one that I’m really no going to forget, my chuckle muscles are still aching now, thanks for that Stuart.
Stuart told us: “I am really excited to be back. The audience can expect high-quality family entertainment which is what panto is all about. It is full of action and it is a great story. Last year we had a really great show and lots of people came back to see it again and again.”
Every panto needs a good baddie and Libby Edwards, the producer with Magic Light Productions, plays a brilliant Grizabella the Witch. She reminded me so much of one of the wicked witches from the land of Oz, she brings the character to life with the audience having a love/hate relationship with her, I think the adults may have been booing a little louder than the kids, but then again the kids were also laughing louder.
Libby said: “Panto is a magical time of the year and often the first time our younger audience members may walk into a theatre so hopefully, we will inspire a younger generation of theatregoers.“
So we have the wicked witch, the comical dame, so now all we need are the lovable characters and in Jack and the Beanstalk, we have Jack Trott (played by Steve Bloor) and his love interest Jill (played by Laura Coard).
Steve is brilliant as Jack, he certainly had a way with the audience and his connection with them during the evening was electric, with them kids (and adults) shouting out every time he came onto the stage, it’s always lovely to have a two-way street during panto and the back and forth between audience and stage was brilliantly done.
Laura Coard is a show stopper when it comes to Jill, he presence on stage is wonderful and as soon as she started her first musical number, I knew we were in for an amazing evening, wow Laura has a gorgeous singing voice, dare I say the voice of an angel, just a pure joy to listen to.
Jill’s father, Squire Pumpkin, played by Lukas Kirkby was also a joy to watch, I particularly enjoyed his performance and his facial expressions during the pantomime. I was laughing so hard with all the kids during his moment performing a dance routine with a monster sneaking after him, Jack and Dame Tilly Trott.
Helping Jack and Jill on their quest is Fairy Aubergine, played by Brooke Aylen, who from time to time helps them along and has a battle of wits against Grizzabella.
Now how would the story of Jack and the Beanstalk be without the giant, in this case, an amazing costume created for the role of the giant and his scary presence works beautifully, with his booming voice and loud stomping feet as he walks onto the stage for the first time, a moment when the smallest of children were shying away into the arms of their parents.
Not only does Jack and the Beanstalk a cast that brings the characters to life, but the show also sees the return of The Pearl Shaw School of Performing Arts to produce some lovely dance sequences.
Musical Director Trish Gaskell with Stu Gaskell on percussion bring the fantasy world to audio life and delight as the music brings the show and its fantasy world to the audience and from BBC’s Chuckle Brother’s live theatre shows Safire’s Magic Light Puppets, which I have to say were amazing, the puppets certainly brought something a little different to the pantomime and when they appeared doing a musical performance at the start of Act 2, everyone was singing along and clapping with the music.
Jack and the Beanstalk is runing until December 31, my recommendation is, if you want to see a traditional, fun, pantomime and go see this one.
Tickets for Jack and the Beanstalk start at £12.00 for adults, £10.00 for concessions and £9.00 for children. To book tickets call (01492) 577888/872000 or visit www.theatrcolwyn.co.uk