Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Panto Review: Jack and the Beanstalk at the Park Theatre

Jack and the Beanstalk 
Park Theatre
Reviewed on Friday 5th December 2014

A pantomime like no other, once again the Park Theatre have staged their own unique take on a classic panto story, Jack and the Beanstalk. Jez Bond and Mark Cameron have torn up the panto rule book, delivering an alternative family friendly pantomime experience.

There's no "oh no you're not" or "he's behind you" or random pop songs; instead Bond and Cameron have written an original book and score. The show features moments of glory, at first the audience are led to believe that they have accidentally wandered into a production of Hamlet - the looks on some parents' faces were priceless. 

Bond and Cameron create a weird but wonderful world. I will admit that half the time I had absolutely no idea what on earth was going on or what anybody was talking about. I found some scenes hilarious, but eventually I started to lose the will to live... it seemed like hours had passed before the cow had even been sold (but then the cow sang a show-stopping number and all was forgiven).

The weakest element is the music - or rather the robotic backing tracks - but luckily there aren't too many numbers (from what I remember there were more songs in last year's show). The cast do their best and mostly understand the piece's very silly tone.

I think that if the show was snappier, sharper and featured a stronger score the Park Theatre would really be onto something, but as it stands I would rather pay a few extra pounds and sit through a more traditional panto. 

Reviewed by Andrew Tomlins (Editor)

Jack and the Beanstalk runs at the Park Theatre until 4th Jan 2015.
Visit www.parktheatre.co.uk for info and tickets.

Photo Credit:  Ben Broomfield

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