Panto review: Dame Trott steals the show in Barking Broadway's Jack and the Beanstalk
PUBLISHED: 15:00 10 December 2019
Reporter Luke Acton reviews Jack and the Beanstalk at the Broadway, Barking
The Broadway's pantomime Dame Trott and her cantankerous cow Daisy steal the show in its new production of Jack and the Beanstalk.
Filled with covers of popular songs that will appeal to children and grown-ups, the singers and the dancers fill the stage with a spectacle fit for the most festive Christmas. The child dancers hold their own against the older members of the troupe, who bring a sense of energy and excitement that's not always seen in pantomime.
Dame Trott (Vince Williams), mother to the titular Jack (Josh Harrison Yellop) and his cheeky brother Simple Simon (Louis Rayneau), steals the show with her costumes, make-up and gags for children and parents.
A highlight that's not in the original fairy tale is Trott getting into a jet to fly to Cloud Land to help out her boy. The aircraft looms over the audience with one of the stars of the show on board, and it's something this reviewer hasn't seen in any play before, let alone a pantomime.
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Daisy the cow (Carrie Hennesy at the front and Taylor Kendall at the back) did another fantastic job with solid physical comedy and a couple of well-placed "moos".
Jack and Princess Jill (Gabrielle Davina Smith) have a sweet chemistry. The romance is charming and forms the core that the rest of the comedy hangs on. Their wholesome musical numbers are slick, heartwarming and instrumental in delivering that post-panto feel-good feeling.
The villains of the show, Giant Trumpy Drawers and his henchwoman, the evil Poison Ivy (Rebecca Sibthorpe), really get audience going, provoking enthusiastic heckling in the best of panto tradition. The giant, who is president of Cloud Land, draws some parallels with a certain American president with a penchant for border walls and fiery rhetoric.
When he eventually comes on stage, his stature is impressive, dwarfing the actors but still managing to move convincingly.
Poison Ivy and her good sister, Fairy Sunshine (Tami Stone), entertain with their sassy rhyming banter.
Jack and the Beanstalk at the Broadway is a fun family show that leaves everyone with a smile on their face.
It's running until December 31. More information and tickets can be found at thebroadwaybarking.com.