Published on December 15th, 2017 | 236 Views0
Review: Jack and the Beanstalk at New Wimbledon Theatre for a laugh-out-loud funny Christmas panto
This week I realised there’s one more Christmas tradition that I would love to add to our future Christmases. I’ve just realised that a pantomime is probably a must after Big Girl and I had a super funny evening out on Tuesday.
We had been invited to attend the press night of this year’s New Wimbledon Theatre pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk, and the show took me by surprise–both in terms of being extremely varied and in terms of the numerous special effects, including a part in 3D.
Jack and the Beanstalk, produced by the world’s biggest pantomime producer Qdos Entertainment, started with a bang, and stage smoke and fire took us straight into a magical world, enhanced by a colourful set and costumes.
The show is based on the English fairy tale about Jack and his mother who lives on a farm with their charming dairy cow. In this version, however, there’s also a brother Al, who is a barman, and Jack is in love with Princess Apricot who is taken by the giant.
The cast is led by comedian and TV personality Al Murray, who plays the brother, and actor Clive Rowe, who plays the mum Dame Trott, and I think the two make this a laugh-out-loud funny pantomime–although regularly taking detours away from the fairy tale plot.
In fact, when I was sending some initial feedback to friends who have tickets for a future performance, I highlighted that I really hadn’t seen Big Girl laugh this much at any stage show before. She was sitting on the edge of her seat, and we both found it hilarious when Al had an apple watch shaped as an apple and played phrases from pop songs in response to the Dame Trott’s comments.
There were several times during the show I tried to look down though, as I was trying to avoid being singled out for any audience participation – particularly when they were pretending someone would be chosen to sing a Queens song on stage. Parts of the show felt a bit like stand-up comedy, and there were a mix of jokes – some that were targeted at grown ups.
In addition to making us laugh, Jack and the Beanstalk also surprised with the grand set, featuring the giant beanstalk that grows tall at the end of the first act, numerous costume changes for Clive Rowe and lots of special effects. It was the first time we’ve used 3D glasses during a theatre show, and it was the first time I’ve seen a comedian fly a helicopter on stage. There are also a number of children in the cast, who join in on the dance numbers.
This is one high-energy musical comedy show that is full of surprises and giggles.
Bring on Christmas traditions!
Jack and the Beanstalk at New Wimbledon Theatre is running until Sunday 14 January 2018. The running time is 2 hours and 5 minutes, including interval, and I think it would be best for families with school-age children or older
Photos by Credit Sugden