Cheering kids, silly jokes, wonderful costumes and a bit of Doric humour… it’s safe to say the panto season is well and truly back – oh, yes it is.
Families, friends and their loved ones gathered together to see Attic Theatre’s Jack And The Beanstalk panto and their excitement filled The Tivoli. It was hard to tell who was more thrilled to be back – the audiences or the cast who really gave it their all as they were finally able to perform live after a forced two-year break.
The usual ‘Welcome To The Panto’ bit got the north-east theatre fans in just the right mood for a bit of pantomime magic – and there was a lot of it.
The story sees 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. Jack is then forced to sell their precious family cow, but things take a turn for the better when he receives five magical beans…
Fairy G steals the show in Jack And The Beanstalk
While the Fairy Godmother – or Fairy G as she prefers to be called – had a broken wand and joked about budgets cuts, the magical beanstalk looked rather impressive. And you’ll easily forget that this is an amateur theatre production when you see the giant.
It’s not always that a fairy steals the show, but Michelle Bruce – who first appeared in an Attic Theatre production when she was just 11, did a brilliant job. And what a great singer she is too.
Mike Taylor’s Dame Edna Bucket was brilliantly camp and fabulous and had some of the best gags of the night. Hoping to get Tik Tok famous so she doesn’t need to sell her cow is just the perfect kind of crazy that we all love to see.
Matthew Walker plays the baddie Baron well, but sadly, he doesn’t really have time to shine.
Wonderful musical numbers bring a bit of magic to The Tivoli
Were the musical numbers so much better than two years ago or did we all just miss a bit of panto in our lives? Either way, the cast’s ‘What Will Happen? Will Jack Save The Day?’ performance to the music of ABBA was energetic and euphoric and saw about 30 cast members take to the stage. The show’s large ensemble should definitely take a well-deserved bow.
Also performing Crazy Little Thing Called Love, and Another One Bites The Dust, the show features a great selection of songs – all played by a live band. Musical director Craig McDermott has once again done a brilliant job.
Returning to the panto for nostalgic escapism or to take their children or grandchildren, adults who ventured to the Guild Street theatre seemed to have just as much fun as their little ones. And with a cow named Wilhelmina, you can imagine the sort of jokes which flew right over their kids’ heads.
Directed by Scott Jamieson, who wrote the funny script during lockdown, the pantomime ticked all the right boxes and the laughs just kept on coming.
Jack And The Beanstalk is at The Tivoli until December 22. Tickets are still available and can be purchased here.