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Review: Packed house for Jack and the Beanstalk at Beccles Public Hall

PUBLISHED: 09:30 31 December 2015

Jack and the Beanstalk at Beccles Public Hall.

Jack and the Beanstalk at Beccles Public Hall.

Archant

Congratulations to Beccles Public Hall for bringing professional panto to the town for the first time they reckon in more than 300 years.

Jack and the Beanstalk at Beccles Public Hall.Jack and the Beanstalk at Beccles Public Hall.

The hall works really well for the show with great acoustics and all the bright lights and colourful sets that brought their classic Jack and the Beanstalk to life in front of a packed audience.

It had all the ingredients the audience was expecting - a sparkly stage, great costumes, songs and it’s fair to say a classic range of jokes: “Why talk in rhyme, because this is pantomime”.

Leading ‘boy’ Emma Riches as Jack made her pantomime debut and her strong voice led the key musical numbers enthusiastically backed by the young dancers from the Totally Wicked School of Dance.

Michael Heywood held it all together as Dame Trott milking every laugh from Daisy the Cow and a great deal more. The audience loved the local references, you can’t go far wrong with telling it like it is about Bungay if you’re in panto in Beccles.

There were some nice touches led by a bit of magic from Fairy Bio (Helen Harper). After one particularly laboured gag misfired Simple Simon (Johnny Jaffacake) got a better laugh with his explanation than the original joke would ever have deserved.

So lots to like some and some ad libs that went down well.

One possible tweak for future years, at one hour 15 minutes for the first half it felt a touch long with some very small children in the audience.

Nonetheless, a fantastic achievement for Beccles-ville and we hope to see another offering next year.

•Tickets are still available for the few remaining shows of Jack and the Beanstalk tomorrow, January 1, at 5.30pm and on Saturday, January 2 at 2pm. Call the box office on 01502 770060 for more information.

LYNN CROMBIE

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