Jack and the Beanstalk

Date 8th January 2023
Society West Wickham Pantomime Society
Venue West Wickham Hall
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Mike Simpson
Musical Director Nicholas Grant
Choreographer Sally Warsop
Written By Alan P Frayn


Author: Gordon Harris

Whilst traveling to West Wickham for the annual pantomime by West Wickham Pantomime Society, I get eggcited as I know its going to be eggcellent as usual. Yes, you guessed it's ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ and there is the golden egg. We all know the story don’t we, OH yes, we do.!!!

Director Mike Simpson took his cast to a very high standard for this year’s panto, what a great evening of fun and frivolity. He took his superb cast and directed the best out of them and it showed. Well done to Mike and his team of Choreographer Sally Warsop, Musical director Nicholas Grant, and Lighting Designer James Simpson. All smoothly run by Stage Manager Mike Simpson. Stage Managers hardly get mentioned in reviews, but I always think its one of the hardest jobs - remember, the show is in their hands, if it goes wrong they have to right it sometimes instantly. I didn’t see any hiccups, so well done Mike in your Stage Manager's hat as well as Director. Also, your team of wardrobe ladies triumphed again Gorgeous, they were pristine in every way. Perfect.

Jack (Hayley Parrot) and Princess Charlotte (Eliza McShane) gave us the love interest and both duetted well together. Comedy from Simple Simon (Dave Warsop) worked his audience well. I must admit they were not good on Sunday, but I could see he was right for the part he had so much charisma… Snachet and Scarper (Vicky Kalber and Vicky Simpson) were so full of energy and worked so well together, could have been joined at the hip, I loved them. Dame Dotty Dimple (Andy Harrison) certainly looked exquisite and carried the Dame role with aplomb. King and Queen Michelle Graydon and Tony Dunne both majestic in their roles. Fairy Sugardust (Cheryl Folkes) and Piccalilli (Lin Harrison) the witch bounced off each other, as good and bad, well balanced, and didn’t go over the top as sometimes can happen. Rancid the Ratman (Zac Day) really did look rancid, luckily hope he didn’t smell, that would have taken the part to new heights. Backing up the cast were Buttercup (Philip George), Harp (Suzi Sutherland), and a young Humphey (Lewis Harrison) he stood out and owned his lines and the space on stage, well done young man. The dancers of this Jack were all so well-rehearsed I didn’t see a foot or body out of place, it always surprises me how dancers do it. (Maybe because they are young). but would like to see a few dancing boys. The camaraderie amongst the cast spilled into the auditorium, and it made this Jack and the Beanstalk grow to dizzy heights…