Jack and the Beanstalk

Date 21st February 2023
Society Shavington Village Festival Committee
Venue Shavington Academy
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Rene Hancock
Musical Director Jenny Collis-Smith
Choreographer Angela Snell
Producer SVFC
Written By Bradford & Webster


Author: Jake Powell

Shavington Village Festival Committee were back this week with their annual pantomime, ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’. Directed by Rene Hancock, this had all the makings of a great pantomime! This pantomime was traditional, sprinkled with modern references throughout. The use of technology used was of a high standard and integrated into scenes seamlessly. The many scene changes were very well executed – quickly and quietly. Well done to Ian Parker (Stage Manager) and his team. Costumes were of a very high standard, as was the set. All the more impressive that these are created by the company themselves! A big congratulations to all those involved with these aspects of the production.

The technical aspects of the production were particularly impressive. The balance of sound between the actors and band was very good. The lighting used as well was varied and added to the pantomime as a whole. The video sequence of Dame Tilly Trot and Simple Simon flying over Shavington in a hot air balloon was well executed.

The band consisted of Jenny Collis-Smith (Musical Director), Colin Walsh, Ryan Bee and Mike Machin. The band sounded great together, and the singing was of a high standard.

Choreography from Angela Snell was varied and catered to the different abilities of the cast. The tap routine impressed, as did the duo. Well done to those involved.

Rachel Hadzik-Chesters as the titular Jack was very good. Good acting, nice vocals, and great interaction with every member of the cast.

Mollie Slinn (Jill)  provided a good principal girl and love interest for Jack. With a crystal clear vocal, Mollie performed this part with aplomb.

Megan Goode’s villain, Grotviler, was a particular highlight. A great command of the stage, excellent vocals and super characterisation created a character that the audience loved to boo. A true panto baddie – well done!

Jonathan Brett as Dame Tilly Trot was great! Super stage presence, great interactions with the cast, and some very funny asides.

William Davies played Giant Blunderbore very well. William had a good, strong voice when delivering line. Well done for manoeuvring round the stage with your fantastic giant costume!

The comedy lead, Simple Simon, was played by Shannon Vernon. Shannon did well in this part building an excellent rapport with the audience, and covered a particularly late entrance very well!

The audience certainly loved Fairy Haricot Vert! The French references were funny, as was the nonchalance of the character. Well done Fanny Weiss!

Adam Goode (Grabbit) and Eddie Bell (Leggit) were the comedic double act of the panto. Adam was the stronger of the pairing, but both provided good support.

Gary Blackman worked well with Adam and Eddie in his role as the Mayor. The pace did drop during some of Gary’s scenes, but he contributed well to the production.

Bobbie Blackman, Lesley Smith, Beau Atkinson and Connor Sumnall all performed well in their named parts, helping the story move along.

It’ll be remiss not to mention Buttercup the Cow! The slapstick section where Buttercup was getting milked was executed perfectly! Congratulations to Julie Mann and Rachel Anderson.

The adult chorus contributed well to the overall production, providing some very funny moments, which did not go unnoticed! Well done.

A huge well done to the children’s and teenagers’ chorus. Everyone on that stage looked like they were having the time of their lives! You all knew what you were doing when you were on stage. A special shout out to Oscar Anderson (George) and Bobby Finch (Chorus) – both had great stage presence and were putting their all into what they were doing.

Overall, this was a great pantomime! Some strong performances from the cast, excellent musical numbers, and a great set all added to this strong pantomime.

A big thank you to everyone at SFVC for their warm welcome, and all the best for your future productions.