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PANTO REVIEW: Fe, Fi, Fo, Fun!

Jack and the Beanstalk

by Polka Dot Pantomimes

South Holland Centre Spalding

You know Christmas is closing in when Polka Dot Pantomimes begin their yearly stint at Spalding's South Holland Centre, and on Sunday my family and I were lucky enough to catch the very first performance.

Usually, when reviewing any show, I try to avoid the opening performance, happy to let the performers iron out any wrinkles before I turn up... but judging from this performance I've been over-cautious.

THe cast of Jack and the Beanstalk (5906284)
THe cast of Jack and the Beanstalk (5906284)

There was not a line out of place or a dance move slightly skewed as seven professional actors mixed with Polka Dot's young talented dancers to put on a great family show.

This version of Beanstalk had everything you expect from a top panto. It had the good fairy and the bad fairy, the hero, the village idiot the princess, the dame and the king.

It had double entendres and topical references for the adults (although he's such a real-life pantomime villain,I suspect most of the children would have appreciated the origins of Trumpy Pants the giant), pop songs aplenty and lots of the silly, repetitive routines and audience participation that a great panto needs.

And there were great performances too. This was at least the third time I've seen Vince Williams as the dame, and his performance as Dame Trott was superb. That ability to make the children believe while having a joke with their parents must be so hard to manage but he pulls it off every year.

Jess Herring was flawless as Fairy Sunshine, Beth Newman very believable as her sister Poison Ivy and James Taylor surely impressed the youngsters as the dashing Jack Trott. Alex Lodge perfected the Simple in Simon and Frank Simms gave an assured performance as King Bumble.

The three principal dancers were very impressive but I must make special mention of the children's chorus teams too... they didn't put a foot out of place and their beaming faces showed that they were enjoying dancing as much as we were enjoying watching.

As for the plot, well I won't spoil that because there's plenty of time for you to catch the show. In fact it runs until New Year's Eve - to book visit www.southhollandcentre.co.uk

Jeremy Ransome


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