Jack & Jill &The Beanstalk

Date 21st December 2018
Society In Your Face Theatre (Seaham)
Venue Seaham Town Hall
Type of Production Pantomime
Director Ethan Roberts
Choreographer Sam J Scott


Author: Peter Oliver

Once upon a time in the wonderful town of Forget-Me-Not in the magical kingdom of Tomorrowland  lived some of the best known characters from the world of fairy tales, nursery rhymes, as well as some new interesting personalities, all of whom  were brought to life when the cast of “In Your Face Theatre” took to the stage at Seaham Tow Hall to perform there 2018 giant pantomime, Jack & Jill &The Beanstalk, Written by their Director Ethan Roberts with support from Shaun Crosby, Deborah Taylor-Smith and Norma Ord who over the past twelve months have brought their labour of love to a reality to produce a magical pantomime which ticked every box including corny jokes, a terrific score and a cast that visually shared their joy of being on stage from the opening scene to the final bows, this was truly a  great evening of family entertainment with lots of audience participation which made you feel part of the story. Choreography this year was in the capable hands of Sam J Scott who ensured that he used his dancing skills to bring some creative dance and movement to this show, well done Sam you certainly are an all rounder when it come to musical theatre.

No show is complete without those people who are work quietly  behind the scenes to make sure that the show is delivered to a professional standard, well done to Duncan Baxter who ensure that the sound was perfect and at a level to ensure that the dialogue was not lost, Paul Oliver for his lighting plot which looked fantastic and certainly added quality to the performance, for me this makes a difference to the production and Paul is at the top of the game when it come to lighting, Liz Scott for wardrobe and props excellent quality, I loved the imaginative way she utilised old snooker table cloths to make the beanstalk and the costumes were outstanding very colourful especially the Dames range of clothing, Mick Scott and Company for the set and scenery design, given the limited space they created a convincing illusion of scale and depth making it a constantly changing very colourful spectacle especially the use of space to create Jed and Benny’s ice cream parlour. And finally the front of house team including Marian Oliver, Derek Sparey and John and Sharon Curtis who ensure that the audience including myself were taken good care of.

Firstly what an opening, it is probably the best and colourful opening I have seen in a pantomime, to the music from the Greatest Showman “The Greatest Show” Ethan Roberts as the Narrator and Major described the story and introduced the characters with the ensemble singing and dancing and I loved the full sized elephant which added to the spectacular and clearly an audience experience well done to the writers this was fantastic, and to Ethan who for me was the Greatest Showman. Playing the part of the characters were Sam J Scott as Jack who gave a splendid performance, this young man clearly has stage appeal and is so versatile that he excels when on stage, great characterisation and he worked extremely well with his only show friend Jill beautifully played by Neave Cummins their interactions together were lovely to watch, well done also on your duet “ You’re my Best Friend” which was confidently sang, playing their mother and the traditional pantomime dame was Barry Thomas as Violet O’Nory a stand out performance great audience interaction and well done to wardrobe on the fascinating range of costumes, playing Violets nasty cousin was  Fern the pantomime’s wicked and evil enchantress played by Stephanie Peacock a great performance from this talented actress who certainly knows how to put a spell on you, I loved the performance and great vocals in her solo number “I Put A Spell On You”. Playing the front of cow Pat and Patsy was David Jackson a very funny an entertaining performance lovely chemistry with his partner playing the rear end of cow Pat and Tricia played by Paul Henry who looked great and clearly loved the challenge of his character, good performance in their musical number “Baby Cow” which was the pantomime audience sing a long well delivered and very entertaining, playing my favourite characters were Deb Taylor-Smith as Red Riding Hood and Nathan Vose as Wolfie excellent chemistry between these two characters a great partnership great musical numbers I loved their signature musical song /ring tone “Big Bad Wolf” which included the audience dance number, their musical number Ghostbusters was also well delivered and I loved the giant ghostbuster and also there number with Patsy and Tricia “I Am What I Am” great family entertainment which had the adult audience in stitches. Playing the part of the wicked Sly Fox was Peter Baker, great costume and a confident performance you certainly had the audience booing each time your appeared on stage good interaction with your counterpart Sneaky Cat played by Summer Douthwaite who gave a good interpretation of her character I l particularly enjoyed there musical number “Master Of The Wood” which was well delivered. I was absolutely charmed from the performances from the two lovely young ladies playing the fairy’s Amber Scott as Fairy Blue and Aimee Curtis as Fairy Green beautiful stage presence and good acting coming through, playing Snow White was Anne Peacock who had her hands full looking after her seven adorable but naughty children Danyle Neil as Cheesy, Ava Davies as Snoozy, Lily Mason as Twisty, Maysie Surtees as Flappy, Dan Scott as Dozy, Rebecca Moore as Dab and Norma Ord as Flossy who was the naughtiest of them all, Norma also played the parts of Ben O’Nory and Spyglass to which she stole the show what a talent this lady has, she had the audience in an uproar with her stage antics  abundance energy and pure commitment to everything she does, well done Norma what a rare talent you have. A solid performance from Charlie Surtees who played the part of Buttons lovely clear acting and what a voice I loved the number “Help” sang with Jack, Rose the Rock Harp and Red Riding Hood. A confident performance from Chloe Williams as Rose the Red Harp, great stage presence and what a voice I loved her solo number “I Love Rock And Roll” and her duet with Red Riding Hood “Hit Me With Your Best Shot” lovely performance and good interaction with the other cast members.

Every character either in a principal role or smaller cameo roles are essential to the overall production, well done to Jennifer Henry as the elephant keeper, Kathryn Mitchell as the Circus Princess, Layton and Corey Bone as the Ghostbusters, Sophie Harrison as Child Ghost, Ian Rush as Raah the Dogsbody, Irene Smith as Grey Lady Ghost, Maureen McCabe as Rose O’Nory, Darrel Rush as Jerry O’Nory and the Giant, Jonathan Ryan as Gary and the Sneaky Guy and finally the youngest and cutest new addition was William Henry as the Elephant Keeper a new star in the making.

When panto is this good you don’t want it to end, well done to Ethan Roberts and the production team and especially the cast of “In Your Face Theatre Seaham “as you have done it again with a show that left the audience laughing long after the final bows, quite simply a triumph, I loved the finale numbers from the whole ensemble singing “Come Alive” from the Greatest Show Man and “Wish it Could Be Christmas Everyday”. Well done to everyone and thank you once again for your kind hospitality and wish you well for 2019.