Jack and the Beanstalk’ is the pantomime of choice at Redhill’s Harlequin Theatre this year. The show includes some familiar faces if you’re attuned to the world of Strictly. Former stars James and Ola Jordan star as ‘Fleshcreep’ and the ‘Glitterball Fairy’. As you can probably imagine from his name, James plays the baddy of the show. His steampunk attire and creepy voice prompt many boos and hisses from the audience. In contrast, Ola plays the pure-hearted Fairy Godmother type who eventually turns Fleshcreep into a kind citizen.

Behind these celebrity faces sit the hilarious ‘Simon Trott’ and his mother Dame Trott, played by Redhill legends Neil Wheatley and Si Bashford respectively. These pair are the family of our protagonist Jack Trott. The two provide great moments of comic relief amongst the lovey-dovey singing and dancing between Jack and Princess Amelia.

Whilst Simon and the Dame provide the comedy, the Princess and Jack prove their worth in song. Jack is played by Aaron Steadman who impresses with his version of ‘Your Song’ by Elton John. The Princess is played by Lucy Edge who manages to belt out ‘Fight Song, a feel-good tune made famous by Rachel Platten. One of the most memorable moments is a rendition of Tiny Dancer where James and Ola grace the stage and perform a ballroom dance that is both elegant and magnetic

This pantomime is not just filled with singing and dancing but loads and loads of slapstick! The Dame enters singing along to the Kelis hit single ‘milkshake’ with her own milkshake in hand and when Si first appears he brings his favourite teddy bear onto the stage, that he calls his ‘little willy’. These entrances really set in motion the vaudeville humour that ensues.

The first half of the pantomime mainly focuses on the jokes, the second half comprises a neater narrative. Jack, of course, saves the day and whilst doing so has some great ‘dance-off’ moments with James and Ola.

The Harlequin’s version of ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ provides everything that you’d want and need from a pantomime. A slick show of laughter, dance, song, good triumphing over evil and an over-the-top Dame wearing outlandish dresses.

This pantomime is less plot focused and centered around the characters relationships with the audience. Essentially, the show comprises what the pantomime is all about: INTERACTION. If you’re wanting to watch a pantomime that will entertain children and adults alike, head down to The Harlequin. The show runs until 31 December but be quick! This brilliant show is sure to be a sell-out.

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