Jack and the Beanstalk at Bath Theatre Royal

pantojack10Jack and the Beanstalk - Nigel Havers as Fleshcreep - (1) - Photo credit Anna BarclayTHERE has never been a more fun beanstalk to climb than that on stage at Bath’s Theatre Royal this Christmas.

The show is full of energy and colour, song and dance, incorporating all the vital elements of a traditional pantomime but at the same time mixing in enough topical and local jokes and and recent pop to delight all sections of the audience.

Most of the women in the audience were swooning not only at the muscles of the principal boy but a  Fleshcreep of extraordinary charm and beauty, in spite of some very green makeup and lighting. If you cast Nigel Havers as your baddie, you must expect a certain confusion of reaction!

pantojack9Jack and the Beanstalk - Nick Wilton as Dame Trott - Photo credit Anna BarclayJack and the Beanstalk, on stage in Bath until Sunday 10th January, really is a terrific pantomime, with spectacular sets and costumes to match scintillating performances.

The very loud echoing sound of Giant Blunderbore is enough to send a scary frisson around the auditorium, but with a Forest Fairy in the form of Kathy Ashworth of CBBs fame, it’s all going to turn out fine in the end.

A Bath panto wouldn’t be the same without Jon Monie, and he’s on fine form as Simple Simon, a role in which he can make the most of his rubber face.  He is teamed with the “new” dame, Nick Wilton, who steps into the huge shoes of Chris Harris with disarming pizzazz and poignancy – and very deep loud voice when required!

pantojack8Jack and the Beanstalk - Katy Ashworth with dancers from Dorothy Coleborn School - Photo credit Anna BarclayDavid Barrett is a hunky and self deprecating hero, fighting for the love of his princess (Sarah Louise Day who is also in charge of the excellent choreography). And David Alcock makes the king a much more memorable character than usual.

Children from the local dance school are a must in pantomime today, and the students of the Dorothy Coleborn School are a joy, entering into the show with gusto.

If the script is a bit laboured at times, don’t worry …  Havers, Monie and Wilton are on hand to add their own touches of spontaneous fun.

pantojack13Jack and the Beanstalk - Sarah Louise Day David Barrett and Jon Monie with Ensemble - Photo credit Anna BarclayIf the Theatre Royal is the prettiest theatre in the country, this is certainly a pantomime to match, from the lush greenness of the beanstalk to the stunning wedding that ends the show. Highly recommended for all the family.



Photographs by Anna Barclay

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