Review: Jack and the Beanstalk at the New Wolsey Theatre, Ipswich

Writer: Peter Rowe

Director: Kate Golledge

After a large hiatus across the country due to the pandemic, Panto season off to a rocking good start as this Rock ‘N’ Roll Panto of Jack and the Beanstalk is a fun festive treat for the whole family.

Artistic Director of the New Wolsey, Peter Rowe is no stranger to the Rock ‘N’ Roll Panto format and holds a hefty number of them under his belt. His experience certainly shines through with jokes a plenty and lots of twist and turns to classic panto tale.

While Jack and the Beanstalk generally isn’t the most jam packed panto plot, Rowe does what he can to move it along and fill particularly the first act with riske comedy, double entendra and family friendly fun which all adds to the larger than life Panto experience.

While the production’s pace could be slicker, and potentially trimmed down a little, overall the comedy is non stop from laugh out loud visual gags to clever word play mainly from Panto Dame Steve Simmonds as Dame Dolly Durden. Some of the humour will likely even make some of the adults blush.

An essential part go any Rock ‘N’ Roll panto is the music and you certainly can’t say this Panto is lacking in variety.The talented cast double up as musicians and create some very lively musical numbers that rock the stage, from Hit the Road Jack to Marry You, there’s enough to keep the family bobbing along. The Giant singing We Will Rock You helps creates the rock and roll feel good vibe the production is after.

The production uses a numer of AV pre recorded scenes and it creates some great visual comedy and helps to create a really menacing giant. While there were some scenes that would have been better suited to the stage such as the selling of Daisy the Cow and the opening of Act Two opening number, overall they work well, particularly those who choose to stream the production.

With a range of colourful characters, a ferocious giant and some crowd pleasing musical numbers, this panto is a Giant festive treat for families that need a bit of seasonal fun to escape the cold winter blues.

Rating: 3 out of 5.
Value for Money Comments:
A small but mighty cast pull off a reasonably priced panto priced between £12 and 30 with live streaming available for £20.

🎁 This production was gifted in exchange for a fair and balanced review

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