Christmas cheer was sprinkled on Cheltenham theatre-goers old and young on Friday 25 November 2016, when Everyman Theatre’s annual pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk flew onto the stage, quite literally, taking family entertainment to new heights.
Warming up the crowds was children’s and SoGlos’s favourite, Tweedy the Clown, who got up to his usual mischief with his faithful friend Keith in tow, raising laughs, cheers, and chanting even before the curtain was raised.
And, the excitement certainly didn’t stop there, with the Eco Fairy getting the night off to a flying start, before the stunning set was revealed in all its glittering glory, and audiences were treated to a lively rendition of ‘Good Morning’.
Everyman Theatre's most gigantic pantomime yet offered larger than life sets, dazzling costumes, and sensational musical numbers.
The tempo was set for a fast-paced, festive, and downright funny show, which had little and big kids giggling throughout. Returning as a dynamic duo for another year, Sillie Billie Tweedy and Dame Trott, played by panto veteran William Elliot, offered slapstick, silly stunts, and an endless stream of jokes.
And, while it might have gone over the children’s heads, topical Brexit and Trump banter certainly got plenty of laughs from older members of the audience.
Bringing beauty and grace to the stage, and countering the chaotic tone set by Tweedy and Dame Trott, which included some very messy milking of a cow, and plate smashing to ‘Zorba the Greek’, Jack and Jill, played by Frankie Jones and Natalie Taylor Gray respectively, made a delightful pair.
The delightful duet of ‘Can’t Stop The Feeling’ had everyone singing along, while Jack’s ‘Fight Song’ during an ascent up the towering beanstalk into Cloud Cuckoo Land finished the first half on a definite high.
Image © www.thousandwordmedia.com
An essential ingredient for any pantomime, token villain Fleshcreep didn’t only cue boos and hisses, but had children standing up and making ‘loser’ gestures – a sign of his terrifically villainous performance. Meanwhile, the big bad, towering Giant Blunderbore, was a formidable on-stage presence.
Praise also has to be given to the young team from Janet Marshall Dance Studios, who tapped up a storm during the chorus numbers, exuding charm throughout the impressive performance.
Image © www.thousandwordmedia.com
Everyman Theatre’s most gigantic pantomime yet offered larger than life sets, dazzling costumes, and sensational musical numbers, transporting audiences from the streets of Cheltenhamville to Blunderbore’s lair in the clouds, before returning to a majestic castle to finish in glittering style.
Personal highlights included a group of dancing vegetables, a mind-boggling balloon trick from Tweedy, a not-so-pretty Princess Leia, and an ‘appearance’ from One Direction – which even Zayn Malik couldn’t ruin.
If you’re looking for lashings of laughter and festive fun, SoGlos strongly recommends planting some magic beans and taking a trip up the beanstalk to Everyman Theatre, as this year’s pantomime is a Christmas treat not to be missed.
By Kathryn Godfrey
Monday 28 November 2016
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