Jack and the Beanstalk

Date 9th January 2015
Society Walkerville Musical Society
Venue Walkerville Community Centre , Newcastle
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Ann Ranson
Musical Director Peter Forster
Choreographer Lisa Givens and Christine Hully


Author: Jim Graham

I was delighted to attend Walkerville’s production of Jack and the Beanstalk by Peter Denyer, a script from the NODA portfolio. Restrictions over the availability of the venue meant it is not always possible to achieve a week’s run.  The Society threw themselves very enthusiastically into four performances that played almost without exception to full houses – a credible achievement when it is getting more difficult to persuade audiences to buy tickets  This pantomime has a very strong and familiar story line.  It was nice to hear it presented in rhyme – this helps bring out the appreciation of Panto.

Comedy was in the very capable hands of Alan Tomkins, as Dame Dottie Trot, with strong support from Ken Richardson as King Maurice.  An added attraction for comedy was provided by Jenny Boothroyd and Katy Ross masquerading as Daisy the Cow.  The audience thoroughly enjoyed Daisy’s antics in Scene 2.  The Royal Dairy in Scene3 also provided ample scope for more comedy action, and also involving a trio of milk-maids.  Romance was in the capable hands of Sharon Gauld and Lisa Givens as Jill and Jack Trot respectively.  I particularly enjoyed their duet singing appropriately “You’re the One That I Want”

The “nasty” bits were played by Ian Nugent, as Fleshcreep, doubling as Griselda who bought Daisy for a bag of worthless gold…Beans.  Fleshcreep acted as an efficient agent provocateur for the Giant Blunderbore, played by Michae lRoche.  The giant had an excellent head to frighten the children.  It was somewhat a pity that the rest of his costume was not quite so large and outrageous.  The audience was suitably “shocked” by Claire Gauld as the Ghost.

The cast of villagers provided the colour and movement, nicely filling the stage.

Overall the show was really splendid and slick with quick-fire responses.  Backcloths and scenery were provided in-house with support from Border Studios; costumes were appropriate, being provided again in-house and by “In Disguise”.  Music was in the excellent hands of Peter Forster all helping to create a thoroughly enjoyable production.

Well done Ann.