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Jack and the Beanstalk review at the Beck Theatre, Hayes – ‘a kaleidoscope of colour’

What sets this pantomime apart is Pete Watts’ lighting. It is a kaleidoscope of colour, from the moment the glitter ball starts turning to the rainbow of spotlights sweeping over the audience as Jack and his friends reach the giant’s kingdom. Even the arrival of the giant is marked with red lights flashing from the back of the auditorium (with thunderous footstep effects from Tom Marshall), while scene changes are masked by banks of spotlights around the stage, thus plunging the performance space into complete darkness. But the chase from the giant’s castle cries out for strobe lighting.

Simon Aylin’s script is a good balance of traditional and modern, delivered with energy and pace by an accomplished cast, especially Neil Bromley as Dame Trot and Kristian Morse as Silly Billy. Kerris Peeling as the bumbling Fairy Nuff also makes the most of her role.

Lee Ryan, founding member of the boyband Blue, looks the part as Jack. Though his delivery lacks personality, he more than makes up for this when it comes to the songs, which are well chosen and bang up to date, making this a musically strong production.

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