Jack and the Beanstalk at Yeovil Octagon

panto-yeoviljackTHE magic starts the moment you enter Yeovil Octagon’s wide auditorium for this season’s pantomime, Jack and the Beanstalk.

Helga Wood has transformed the stage into a veritable vegetable feast, just the thing for a story about beans and peas.

And no opportunity for a dreadful (and hilarious) joke is left fallow in this terrific traditional pantomime, written by Paul Hendy of production company Evolution, and directed by Eddie Dredge, who also stars at Silly Billy Trott.

panto-yeoviljack4The show is packed from start to finish with great ideas, all faithful to the hallowed traditions of pantomime, and performed with high energy by the excellent company.

Eddie Dredge is a firm audience favourite in his third season at the Octagon, and this year he is joined by Sam Rabone, last in Yeovil in 2009, as Dame Trott. Sam is a wizz at the adlib (essential in panto), and his flying scene is achingly funny. Together, Dame Trott and her son Billy sift through their LP collection for a brilliant routine that will be the envy of many pantomimes this year.

panto-yeoviljack5Laura-Jane Matthewson, making full use of her fine singing voice, is a particularly impressive fairy, usually an underwritten cipher, and Andrew Fettes returns to the Octagon as a very witty Fleshcreep, betraying his classical training with every inflection and wryly raised eyebrow.

The story is familiar, with young Jack Trott falling in love with a princess, selling a cow for a bag of beans, climbing a beanstalk, slaying a giant (well, no spoilers here!) and all living happily ever after.

But there’s so much more to the Yeovil Jack and the Beanstalk than that.

Go along and see for yourself, though you’d better book quickly, as the Octagon reports its fastest selling pantomime ever. It continues at various day and evening times until 4th January.


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