What’s big, green and costs only three magic beans? The answer is, of course, Jack And The Beanstalk – a family-friendly pantomime heading to The Tivoli.
Performing the classic fairytale for the first time at the Guild Street venue from December 3 to 22 will be amateur theatre group Attic Theatre.
Hannah Smith, Attic Theatre board member and chorus singer of this year’s panto, said: “We wanted to make sure that we always put on an excellent show. We also don’t want to be repeating the same stories. So we picked Jack And The Beanstalk because it’s a classic tale that most people are familiar with.
“Attic as a company hasn’t done Jack And The Beanstalk yet at The Tivoli so this will be the first time that we bring the show there.”
Featuring many local references
The story will see local lad Jack Bucket and his mum, Edna, face difficult times due to the evil Baron raising rent and shop prices in the town of Little Bottom. As a result, Jack will have to sell their precious family cow to make ends meet.
After he receives three magic beans from a mysterious stranger, he’ll discover they lead to a Giant’s castle filled with gold and treasures. But how will the Giant react when some of the valuables go missing? And who will save Little Bottom?
Hannah, who also plays the Henchman of the evil Baron, hopes many locals will buy tickets to see their first production in two years to find out.
She promises the show is “as local as possible”.
Hannah said: “Our director Scott Jamieson wrote the script himself. It has a lot of Doric lines and many local references to things in the city and in the shire.
“While the show is aimed at children, there are also a lot of jokes that are for the adults that will be coming along. There’s definitely something for everybody.”
Intense rehearsals for Jack And The Beanstalk
To make sure they deliver a fantastic festive treat, Hannah, who’s a teacher at St Machar Academy, said the company started rehearsing in September.
She explained: “It’s because all our cast are volunteers. We give up our free time on Sunday afternoon and we also rehearse on Monday and Wednesday evening. We started in September and will be rehearsing until the first show in early December.
“The rehearsals are intense. Normally, we would start earlier but because of Covid-19, we wanted to make sure that we were safe and had everything in place to protect everybody before we started rehearsing.”
Another reason why Hannah and her castmates find the rehearsal process a bit more challenging than usual is simply because they haven’t had the chance to practise last year due to the pandemic.
“A lot of us haven’t sung and danced for two years,” said Hannah.
It’s challenging, it’s tiring but it’s so rewarding.
“So having to suddenly find the stamina for dancing throughout the whole show is admittedly a bit of a challenge, but I know that most if not all of our cast are really enjoying being back. For a lot of us, it’s a bit of an escape from our day jobs.”
First post-lockdown show to bring smiles to people’s faces
Jack And The Beanstalk will be Attic Theatre’s first post-lockdown show, with the last one being Snow White in December 2019 – also at The Tivoli.
“It’s pretty much two years since Attic has brought something to the stage,” said Hannah.
“At the moment, our focus is purely panto. We’re hoping that we’ll be able to announce what our 2022 panto will be during this year’s run.
“We have already booked The Tivoli for December 2022 because as board members we know how magical panto is for a lot of families in the north-east.
“If I had a pound for every time I have heard ‘it’s been a tough year’, we’d all be very rich. It’s nice when people forget about everything for a few hours and they just laugh and smile.
“It’s the same for us too – especially when we see the faces of kids light up as they have just forgotten all the bad stuff – that’s really what makes us going and makes it all worth it.”
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