Jack and the Beanstalk

Date 10th January 2020
Society Caprian Theatre Company
Venue The Dryden Centre, Gateshead
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Joan Oldfield
Musical Director Enid Stafford
Choreographer Rachael Tait

Report

Author: Foster Johnson

What a happy and enjoyable evening was had by all at the Caprian Theatre Company’s Pantomime production of Jack and the Beanstalk. Although not overly full the audience were treated to a thoroughly entertaining show from a Company who always serve up the goods when it comes to delivering a classic pantomime tale.

In the hands of Director Joan Oldfield, Musical Director Enid Stafford and Choreographer Rachael Tait it had everything you would wish for in a super show. The singing from both Principals and Ensemble was spot on and the musical numbers were apposite and a perfect fit to the scenes being portrayed. It was nice to see this and made a change from just using a selection of hits of the day.

The scenery and stage cloths were excellent as were the sets and props themselves. I particularly liked the opening scene of the second act which was set in the toy room of the giant’s castle Everything was in proportion and what made it more entertaining was the lovely rendition by the ensemble and dancers, including those youngsters from the Eve Trew School of Dance, of Tchaikovsky’s Sugar Plum Fairy and March of the Toy Soldiers. This was topped off by an exuberant performance by an oversized the Jack in The Box.

The costumes, lighting and sound were up to their usual high standard which completed the all round first class production that was enjoyed by all.

As for the cast themselves?  Well there were thirteen named parts and none of them could be faulted for the performances. They worked well together and “bounced” off each other in true pantomime fashion with just the right amount of comedy, slapstick and asides without going completely over the top.

 Lindsay Kellegher was ideally cast as Jack and brought her extensive experience and talent to the role. Kevin Riley the epitome of the Pantomime Dame was again at his very best in the role of Dolly Durden and the number of quick costume changes he had was mind boggling. Steve Nichol added to his growing reputation as the eponymous simpleton Simon and gave a first class rendition of the role. Playing the love interest in pantomime is never the easiest of parts to play but Andrea Riley as Princess Marigold used the role to great effect to deliver a believable character.

Rather than have the two usual stereotyped criminal fools that are normally seen in these productions the Company replaced them with the parts of King and Queen Brandyball who filled these roles and also that of the overbearing and overprotected parents of marigold. These were undertaken to good effect by the talented and effervescent Ian Mordue and Pam Dias. Also adding greatly in supporting roles which were equally as important and which were critical to the storyline were Lisa Simpson (Witch) Michael Costello-Ferguson (Chancellor) Rachael Carr (Gypsy Queen) Rachael Tait (Fairy of the Bean) and Victoria Elliott (Justina)

Finally a special mention goes to Daniel Fenwick, who as Giant Blunderbore, performed his role as the giant throughout the show on stilts a masterful feat in itself and to Emma McRoberts and Brittany Tilling who were in perfect step and timing as Daisy the Cow