Director: Ed Curtis
Choreographer: Stillie Dee
Reviewer: Fraser MacDonald
As the festive season approaches, the King’s Theatre in Edinburgh once again earns its crown as Scotland’s best panto with a winning mix of music, fun and glamour. The result is an uplifting, rib-tickling theatrical event that is not to be missed.
A reimagining of the classic tale, Jack and the Beanstalk sees Jack Trott (Greg Barrowman) on a quest to win the heart of Princess Apricot (Rachel Flynn) and defeat the evil Giant Bawface. Cultural references are bang up to date as well as more nods to Edinburgh than you can reasonably count.
From the outset, the show oozes quality; with a glitzy set and a fast-paced narrative, Jack and the Beanstalk will captivate audiences old and young throughout. Packed into two hours (including 20-minute interval), the production leaves its audience begging for more.
The theatre continues to excel with spectacular effects that bring the magic of the story to life. Each scene is beautifully set and staged, complemented with costumes that visually stun and musical numbers that are executed with the King’s famous professionalism.
The secret ingredient to Jack and the Beanstalk’s success is in its tried and tested trio of Allan Stewart (Aunty May), Andy Gray (Hector) and Grant Stott (Fleshcreep). Stewart comments that the trio’s friendship carries “across the footlights” and the laughter shared between the cast delights the audience as much as the actors. In the tight-knit, faultless cast of six, Allan Stewart is the anchor that keeps the whole show together. His stagecraft is a delight to witness and his interactions with his audience are sharpened from more than 50 years in the business.
In searching for a safe place to bury one’s head in a world that looks increasingly bleak and colourless, look no further than Jack and the Beanstalk. Enjoyment is almost surely guaranteed.
Runs until 15 January 2016 | Image: Douglas Robertson