Jack and the Beanstalk

Date 1st February 2024
Society Walkerville Musical Society
Venue Walkerville Community Centre
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Ann Ranson
Musical Director Peter Allsopp
Choreographer Lisa Nugent
Producer Ann Ranson
Written By Peter Denyer


Author: Ken Allan

I really enjoy visiting Walkerville Musical Society for their superb annual pantomime, which, as it states on their programme cover, is a ‘fun packed family panto’, and this year’s production of Jack and the Beanstalk was no exception and true to that description. I also fail to comprehend how there are about thirty members of the cast, sometimes all on that minute stage at one time. An achievement in itself… well done.

The packed first-night audience were treated to a scary opening with a ‘greeting’ from our ‘giant’ Blunderbore – enhanced by splendid sound and lighting effects. This was followed by some superb choral movement and singing from the cast with a hearty welcome which carried on for the rest of the performance. Acting Musical Director Peter Allsopp should be congratulated for the well-delivered musical content, well supported on percussion by Peter Forster.

There were some ‘first night nerves’, but these were soon put to one side as the action commenced and the principals and cast settled down to their work.

Producer Ann Ranson can be exceptionally pleased with her efforts as we were further treated to some fabulous entertainment from a very talented line-up of principals, with excellent humour and situation comedy throughout, with belly laughs aimed at children of all ages in the audience. There were also some superb visual effects with the ‘growing’ beanstalk and the convincing giant, enhanced once again by lighting and sound effects.

Alan Tomkins was, as usual, excellent in the part of Dame Dotty Trot, ably and superbly supported by John Ord as her son ‘silly’ Billy Trot. Their interaction with; and involvement of us all was first class. The love interest duo of Jack – Lisa Nugent and Jill – Helene Archer was nicely played and sung by both.

The main principals were very well supported by the lovely Fairy Moonbeam – Helen Richardson, the nasty Fleshcreep  – Ken Richardson (who played his audience with all of the experience he had), James Archer as Grabbitt (another nice wig James !), Graeme Spence as King Maurice, Mark Taylor as Giant Blunderbore, the three Dairymaids – Jazmin Bell, River Morton and Sophia Trimble, and the Ghost – partly shared by Jazmin Bell and Spencer Whitlie. Last, but certainly not least was the star of the show – Daisy the Cow – Laura and Zelda Tindle (sorry but I have no idea who was the front or the back !). Well done to all.

There was some lovely dancing and movement, with good choreography by Lisa Nugent, and with twenty-one scene changes, Alan Ranson and the crew deserve our highest praise. The scenery, props and costumes were really colourful and fitted the action of the piece extremely well. Congratulations to the rest of the Team for an excellent show.

Pauleen, my companion and I thoroughly enjoyed ourselves, as did the rest of the audience, evident by our applause following the finale’. Thanks for the invitation and to President Barbara for our interval hospitality.  We look forward to Me and My Girl in July 2024.