Reviewed by Deborah Mackenzie
Pantos have become Christmas tradition since the early 18th century. I believe every child (and adult) should attend pantos – and what a Gilly Gilly Awesome Show it was!
Jack and the Beanstalk delivers laughter, sparkle, special effects and more; there were not many scenes that did not deliver a laugh or the customary shout out ‘oh no you aren’t!’
Mammy Nature (Angela Darcy) tells us that she can help the villagers of Glasvegas defeat the Giant Blunderbore; but the suitably dressed in black Mrs Blunderbore is ready to throw obstacles in the way.
Jack Trot (Johnny Mac) the village simpleton is in love with the Princess Jill (Naomi Cowe) but he doesn’t know how to impress her. Dame Trot (Elaine C Smith) is working the farm and her second job at Irn Bru is exhausted. Dame Trot secretly admires the King who we are told lives just two doors down.
Blunderbore is stealing all the villager’s livestock and King Hector (Jonathan Watson) offers his daughters hand to the person who defeats Blunderbore. Princess Jill is outraged at her father for wanting to ‘sell’ her and decides that she is going to defeat Blunderbore. Jack hearing he may have a chance to wed his sweetheart, declares with bravery he is going to defeat Blunderbore. Princess Jill and Jack join together to go and rid the village of the evil and menacing giant Blunderbore.
Meanwhile, Dame Trot tells Jack to take the animals to the market and sell them, hoping that this would save them from the giant. Sadly, they have to also take Daisy the Cow, filled with guilt Jack leads Daisy to the market to be stopped by Mrs Blunderbore who is disguised as a poor widow, offers Jack some magic golden beans. Jack is excited with his transaction and go home where his Mammy is wondering what had happened to Jack as he still wasn’t home. Jack gives his Mammy the beans and she is furious and throws them out.
Mammy Nature comes along and works her magic on the beans making them grow and grow. In the morning everyone is shocked to see that the beanstalk had grown high into the clouds where the terrible Giant Blunderbore lives. Meanwhile, Blunderbore has taken Princess Jill; so, they climb the beanstalk to save her, Daisy the cow and defeat Blunderbore for good.
What will happen? Will Jack save his Princess? Will the villagers be reunited with their animals? Why not find out when you join Jack for ‘a giant tale as magic as beans’.
Johnny Mac (Jack) and Elaine C Smith (Dame Trot) stole the show with their wit, songs and audience interaction. They clearly work well together even when the trombone broke and everyone including them couldn’t stop laughing.
The special effects with lights, fireworks and the Giant were amazing; but what my ten-year-old companion asked more about was the helicopter that flew over the audience. He wanted to know if it was real or not. The growing beanstalk was amazing but was disappointed that it had ‘disappeared’ from the set after the interval; but it is understandable due to blocking some peoples view. I was totally mesmerised by the costumes; colourful, flamboyant and eye-catching. The animals were amazing, especially Daisy the cow, her character showed when she was happy or sad, and the little jigs she gave were awesome.
Such a fun, laughter filled show with quips for all ages; the ten-year-old couldn’t stop talking about it all the way home.
Tickets cost from £12 (plus £2.85 transaction fee).
Jack and the Beanstalk is at the King’s Theatre in Glasgow from 30 November 2019 to 5 January 2020, for more information or to book tickets visit www.atgtickets.com/kings or call the box office on 0844 871 7648.
King’s Theatre, 297 Bath Street, Glasgow, G2 4JN | 0844 871 7648