Jack and the Beanstalk

Date 10th January 2015
Society Orchard Players
Venue Capel St Mary Village Hall
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Rob Maplestone
Musical Director Rob Maplestone
Choreographer Bex Nicholls


Author: Ann Platten

A very good Pantomime from this talented company.The set can only be described as a “wrap around set”, which overflowed from the stage onto the walls of the hall in a very colourful and attractive style.

A central “cat walk” was used very effectively as a useful entry for the cast to the stage area.

From the most enormous Daisy the Cow, who negotiated all area’s of the stage and steps as well with superb guidance from her” keepers”.Julie Wardley and Pearl Attwood,truly a remarkable effort from these two ladies, who were encased inside the cow and worked so well with Daisy’s movements, and with such ease.Then on to the many characters involved in a very enjoyable show.

Dame Dottie Trot was played by Glyn Hill and was a believable character-not OTT just a great interpretation and aided by his two sons Jack Trot (Kerrie Webster) and Billy Trot(James Finbow).

Kerrie was a very confident thigh slapping Jack, with a strong singing voice and with Mel Craig playing Jill we had some lovely duets.Mel also had a very pretty voice and was perfect as Jill.

Fleshcreep played brilliantly by Bex Nicholls gave an excellent “Baddie” and with a super costume and make up gave the production a hugely enjoyable character.

The assorted Fairies, Sandie,Madison,Lucy and Molly were very pretty and added a sparkle to the storyline. Good work before the show started with  lively entertaining, especially for the children.

Billy Trot with James Finbow was the link in getting the children and audience to Boo & Hiss and generally got them involved.James did this very well.

King Maurice(I have never heard of a Maurice before) was a rather gentle character, with no screamimg wife as is usually the case in Panto, and was played by Ian’O Hanlon, with a side kick in Grabbit played by Jake Corfield.

Giant Blunderbore played by Val Munns was on very high stilts and managed to balance even when involved in a fight scene.A very brave effort Val !

As always with The Orchard Players we had some excellent professional looking costumes and scenic effects.The standard of costumes here is remarkable with a fantastic costume designer in Julie Wardley and her team.

The ensemble and various other characters with both adults and children all were very involved in the story with some nice touches with the choreography.

I did find Act 1 quite long.This seems to be the case generally with all panto’s this year, and with so many children in the audience watching can be a long time for their attention.More and more songs seem to be added now?

The sound at times was rather loud against solo voices and children,

A packed house with lots of children watching which is so good to see after all the hard work involved.

A real village Pantomime with great support from Front of House to Stage Managers and Crew through to Costumes Chaperones,Props and so the list goes on.

Long may it continue.A company gaining in a great standard with each and every show they perform.I look forward very much to  “Let’s Go to the Movies” in July.