Information for Jack And The Beanstalk (2013)
Jack And The Beanstalk, was a Pantomime directed by Eve Earles. The 2013 Panto was JACK AND THE BEANSTALK, a Pantomime by Toby Bradford & Tina Webster and published by NODA, produced by Eve Earles, with Mike Wonnaccott as the Musical Director.
A giant of a pantomime with a host of wonderful comedy characters. The village of Greendale are under the cosh.The Giant Blunderbore, with the help of his evil sidekick Grotviler, is bleeding them dry,and the pompous but terrified Mayor is kow-towing to the giants will, taxing the villagers for all he is worth.
The good Fairy Haricot Vert has arrived from France, to help Greendales downtrodden populous. Grotviler is not happy about the arrival of Haricot Vert, and throughout the pantomime, there are some cleverly-rhymed exchanges between these two characters.
Dame Tilly Trot is suffering more than most. Her dairy isnt doing very well and her sons, Jack and Simple Simon, dont possess great business brains. The only way to pay the Dames back-taxes and rent arrears is to sell her cow Buttercup, so Jack is sent to the market to get a good price.
When Jack returns with a handful of beans, Dame Trot throws them out of the window, only to find, next morning that a giant beanstalk has grown in her garden. Meanwhile Grotviler kidnaps Jacks sweetheart, Jill who is the daughter of the very posh Lady Lotsadosh. Jack sets off up the beanstalk to rescue Jill. He succeeds, and also manages to snatch the Giants treasure,before racing back to the beanstalk with Blunderbore hot on their heels. Jack and Jill reach the bottom of the beanstalk, and the plant is quickly cut down, sending Blunderbore crashing to the ground, Jack is a hero,
Jill accepts his proposal of marriage, and the Mayor announces an end to all taxes.
NODA Review and Other Comments
My first introduction to the HATs Theatre was impressive as I discovered the fantastic theatre they are based in. More impressive is the hard work they have put into it to make this more than a community theatre, but something worthy of professional attention.
But back to the show. My sense of anticipation, largely due to the fantastic venue, was kicked into high gear with the dramatic sound and vision from the video presentation at the beginning. Most of us allow space for future productions in our programmes, but HATS blast you with trailers too! A great example of using all the facilities available to you.
Into the first number and I found my enthusiasm waning a little as the company seemed surprisingly low in energy for the opener and this was something that repeated itself several times. The big company numbers were a bit flat and some extra time spent on vocal arrangements and some simple choreography would give the stage some life.
In stark contrast came the highly energetic Simple Simon, whose quirky charm and great ability to interact with the audience (and improvise at the odd jibe) put the show right back on track. It is in character performance that this society showed off its strength, with additional strong performances from Lady Lotsadosh (was that a NODA long service medal?), the tax collectors (although Leggit must learn not to laugh at his own jokes!), Dawn French Grotviler and that green bean of delight Haricot Vert!
It is to this french emerald of magic that the audience responded with the heartiest laughter, especially when she was being in disguise and her Julie Walters-esque stance had us in fits without tittering a single word! These larger-than-life characters tended to overshadow the other roles, such as Jack and Jill who were solid enough, but not attention grabbers.
There were also a couple of instances where company members roles were handled well - I particularly noted the Old Boy who spent a of the show dozing or grumbling, suddenly bursting forth onto the stage in full Eminem getup sporting a chainsaw. Great moment!
Plenty of opportunities to get the audience interacting too, with singing, cheering and booing aplenty. On a personal note though, next time can I sit nearer the front, or get someone to throw sweets with a stronger arm -I may be 40, but Im still a kid at heart!!
Great staging, including the clever use of a house with a hinged front wall that opened to reveal its interior - all painted in true cartoon style. But from the beginning I was wondering what would be done about the beanstalk. I wasnt disappointed! It grew out of its plant pot, encouraged along by dancing fairies, and wound up out of sight, with twisting leaves and branches wound around a glowing green rope light. Very effective! Similarly, there was good use of ultraviolet light for the tap-dancing skeletons number.
The band worked well together to support the company onstage and helped deliver some good solo numbers including Jills "On My Own", which was a highlight. I would like to see a little more work on timing of introductions to help ease the audience into the number without leaving the company standing waiting for their first lyrics, this is something the MD and director should consider as a finishing touch to keep the pace up.
And thats about it. Hmm. Did I forget someone? Only teasing. Who could stage a panto with a dame?! Well, HATS certainly found theirs to be a force to be reckoned with in Dame Tilly Trott Always a difficult one, the Dame is a character not to be taken lightly and it is not enough to simply stick a bloke in a dress and recite the lines. Dame TT worked well on stage with the rest of the company (with Jack in particular) and certainly wound the audience up into hysterics, although she tended to avoid being too feminine and this broke the illusion a little. To begin with, I thought her outfits were a little simple, but as each scene unfolded (SO many costume changes!) she became more and more over-the-top and fabulous.
In fact. costumes were of a high standard throughout, especially in the finale.
A quick mention to the giant, who was quite a surprise with his huge head and stilts - no easy job manoeuvring around the stage, set, props and company while in stilts. let alone when youve got a giants head on too.
Overall HATS did a grand job with jack & The Beanstalk and their audience let them know that with their roars of laughter. I look forward to seeing how they grow for next years endeavours!
Ian Goodenough, NODA SW Region
LETTER FROM MEMBERS OF THE AUDIENCE
I have been asked by the Tavistock Memory Cafe management committee to let you know how much we enjoyed our group visit to this years pantomime at the matinee on Saturday 2nd February 2013.
It was a delight to be entertained in the classic pantomime tradition. You had chosen an excellent script and we much appreciated all of the clever points of detail which the Director had contrived to introduce. The cast were terrific. So were those responsible for the excellent sets, costume, effects and music. We wonder how many hours of rehearsal were necessary for the chorus to perfect their diction and sing with such clarity, energy and obvious enjoyment.
Nor must I forget the kindness of the front of house staff who went to so much trouble on our behalf, especially when they had to look after those of our members who had slight problems during the performance. In all it was a very successful outing for us. Please thank everyone involved with the production for giving us such a good time and assure them that we will be amongst the first to book next year!
With all good wishes and many thanks, and a special pat for Buttercup.
Alan Payne Vice Chairman
Cast, includes (amongst others)
|Jack - Principal Boy||Biff Eccott|
|Jill - Principal Girl||Hannah Cook|
|Dame Tilly Trot - Dame||Peter Whitehead|
|Simple Simon - Jacks Brother||Lee Campion|
|Grotviler - Giants sidekick||Jane Woodgates|
|Harricot Vert - Good Fairy||Lesley Wonnacott|
|Grabbit - Comedy Duo - straight||Phil Barfett|
|Leggit - Comedy Duo - comic||Martin Jordan|
|Lady Lotsadosh - Lady of Manor||Sue Painter|
|Giant Blunderbore - The Evil Giant||Charles Jeffrey-Hudson|
|Buttercup - The Cow||Marion Wonnacott and Pam Johns|
|Mayor - As on the tin!||Colin Burton|
|Maisie - Maid to Lady Lotsadosh||Leah Shepherd|
|George - Friend of Simple Simon||Tyla Cisneros|
|Jenny - Villager||Lydia Isaac|
|Other Roles (played by chorus members)|
|Golden Goose||Abi Cottier|
|Golden Harp||Katrina Hooper|
|Bill & Ben - flowerpot men!||Betty Woodhams and Heather Knights|
|Chorus and Dancers|
|Villagers, Fairies, Skeletons!|