Jack and the Beanstalk

Date 21st January 2017
Society The DODS
Venue lister Hall, Dursley
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Craig Hewlett
Musical Director Rob Andrews
Choreographer Becky Harper

Report

Author: Dee Way

This production was full of bright costumes, unexpected changes, such as the cow being a camel, and good jokes. The music fitted in very well to the story, with words adapted to create nicely unexpected references to local and international politics, all done in a light-hearted way. The action flowed well from scene to scene, with only one rather longer scene change. The characters were well interpreted and integrated into a team that worked well together.

This teamwork was helped enormously by the excellent script that contained so much humour, classic pantomime set pieces and lively characters. The notion of the giant being shrunk was very creative - his giant shoe soles at the end were very large! The combination of this script with good sound, lighting, music and costume created a really memorable show. The adaptation of several songs was very well done, and fitted into the story well, such as “Those Canaan Days” given a local twist. The word “landlord” on the back of the landlords’ shirts was a lovely touch!

The choreography was perhaps at times a little too lively for the song being sung, but many of the ideas worked very well. I gather that everyone became very fit during rehearsals! I would have enjoyed seeing a little more of the Sally Prout dancers, who only appeared once, I think, but the cast dancers performed well. The adapted Moonwalk was great!

The set was very well conceived, with a cottage – outside then inside – in the first Act, followed by Dolly’s Diner – run down then upmarket – in Act 2. The beanstalk was excellent, seen growing on stage, with internal lights to emphasise it. Then there was the giant’s house with the golden goose, the booming voice and the giant eye at the window…. all so well planned and created.

This was a good script, written by the Director Craig Hewlett. The energy in the music generated by the band was excellent. The show was very well interpreted, performed and staged with an excellent back stage team and technical support.