Jack and the Beanstalk
19th January 2018
Washington Arts Centre
Type of Production
Calum Price,,Marie Lovell and ,Emma Simpson
Author: Foster Johnson
Before a full and enthusiastic audience of exited children and beaming parents we were treated to a happy and colourful version of Jack and the Beanstalk by Washington Theatre Group.It was written and directed by Matthew Lowe, his fourth for the Company,
Everyone knows the storyline of the Show so I was intrigued to discover what could be done to it to make it different and up to date. Well it had every aspect of the original storyline and more from this genre..Think of a pantomime comedic situation/scene and it was in there. Yes some of the scenes and audience participation were in the show as a make weight but they still had a relevance for the children in the audience and they loved them. There must be nothing better than to see adults having water.squirted over them.
As well as Jack and his mother Dame Trott the show had all sorts of additional characters.We had Jill, of Jack and Jill fame, Simple Simon, ,Daisy a dancing cow,,an all singing and dancing spider called Incy Wincy ,a singing and dancing lady policeman and of course the Giant and Golden Goose from the original show.
With limited stage facilities it is never easy to stage a show at the venue but the Group did a wonderful job using minimal staging and back cloths . However they more than compensated for this with the clever use of sound/lighting/ music/back projection and an exceptional beanstalk and climbing models of the characters traversing it to the top.
The cast of twelve principals plus six chorus worked extremely hard throughout the evening and threw themselves into their character roles with gusto. This had the effect of getting the audience to fully participate in the show with them Whilst all did a fine job the pick of the line up for me was Catriona Brannigan-Uren (Fleshcreep) Peter Marshall (Simple Simon) Emma Simpson ( Fairy Flora) Jack(Marie Lovell) and Jill (Sarah Clarke)