REVIEW - The Core's hilarious Jack and the Beanstalk at Bromsgrove's Artrix provides fabulous festive fun for all the family - The Bromsgrove Standard

REVIEW - The Core's hilarious Jack and the Beanstalk at Bromsgrove's Artrix provides fabulous festive fun for all the family

Bromsgrove Editorial 23rd Dec, 2023 Updated: 23rd Dec, 2023   0

AFTER a gap of four years, it was fantastic to be back at Artrix for Little Wolf Entertainment’s ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’.

The story (as we all know) centres on Jack, his brother and mum living in a town where life is good and everything is going tickety boo until The Giant and his evil henchman steal the magic gold harp and the hen which lays the golden eggs that provides all the wealth everyone needs. It is up to our beloved characters to put the wrongs right.

It is clear from the opening curtain this is a ‘no expenses spared’ panto with all the colourful costumes, beautiful vibrant sets and special effects you could ever want. The beanstalk bursting through the Trotts’ caravan and the UV light mirror scene, were both very impressive and the giant – when he emerged – had the ‘wow’ factor, prompting plenty of gasps, oohs and aahs from those watching.

But, of course, the traditional Christmas shows we know and love need a lot more than that – once again, Little Wolf’s Jack and the Beanstalk did not disappoint.

The show was packed full of witty one liners, lots of local Bromsgrove mentions and jokes, bucketfuls of innuendo and double entendre for the adults and clever references to the UK’s modern political landscape and the ‘RAAC’ concrete situation which saw The Core move some of its shows to Artrix.

There was also more lyrically rewritten pop music classics than I have ever heard in one panto. Among them were hits by Abba, Bon Jovi, Michael Buble, U2 and more – well done to writer Morgan Brind for those strokes of genius.

The cast were excellent throughout this amazing two-hours fun family feast of live entertainment.

Laura Potter as Fairy Ground burst onto the stage to set the scene and played her role well throughout. Likewise, Isaac Elder as Simple Simon gave us silliness in abundance, through his hapless antics and audience interaction, and provided the dame with her perfect foil.

Andy Cryer was  great as Mayor Naise and his comical duet with the dame was among the many highlights of the show.

David Breeds as Jack Trott and his love interest Victoria Lucie as Jillian Naise were the lovable pair you want and need in panto. Their body language and on-stage chemistry was wonderful to watch and their vocal performances on the musical numbers – whether solo or dueting together – were pitch perfect.

But the stand-out performances of the evening went to Joseph Beach as baddie Walter Waltzer and Morgan Philpott as Helga Skelter Trott.

Beach showed such versatility with a multitude of voices, impressions and actions – ranging from camp and sarcastic to comically sadistically evil – and I doubt you will hear a dirtier evil laugh than his this panto season. The Walter and Jillian Duet to a reworked version of Kylie Minogue’s Padam Padam was one of the musical highs of the night.

From the character’s first steps on the stage, Philpott had the audience in stitches – from quick-fire delivered one-liners, to him/her dragging up one poor unsuspecting audience member – Mark – to be part of the panto he had thought (20 minutes earlier) he had just come to watch. Many actors are great at what they do when all is going well but the best ones deal with mishaps when they occur. Philpott dealt brilliantly with a microphone malfunction in the first act, ad-libbing along and making jokes about it, making the show even funnier for the crowd.

Providing the most hilarity and laugh out loud moments was the scene in the Trott’s Ice Cream Parlour where Walter Waltzer poses as a health inspector. The machine producing cones, ice creams and toppings generated scoops of slapstick and you will also struggle to hear so many ice cream related puns in a ten-minute period anywhere.

Huge congratulations to writer and designer Brind, director Marcus Romer and everyone involved in this show. It had everything – something for everyone and more. Even the walkdown, when it came, had all the glitz, glamour and sparkle this fabulous panto deserved.

Little Wolf Entertainment has been nominated 15 times at The Great British Pantomime Awards and won seven – and judging by this show you can see why.

There are plenty more performances to catch this unbelievable Christmas production. There are performances daily (apart from Christmas Day and New Year’s Day).

Click here for times, tickets and more information



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