Nottingham Playhouse: Jack and the Beanstalk

Panto season is upon us! This year celebrates the 30th anniversary of the pantomime and 30 years of Kenneth Alan Taylor’s infamous Dame. It definitely doesn’t disappoint!

If you haven’t been to a Panto since your Gran last dragged you one cold January afternoon in the early noughties and you decided that you were way cooler than some recycled jokes told by a man in drag, then this is the year to relive your youth and totally embrace everything pantomime.

Jack and the Beanstalk is traditional panto in every sense: there are random tap-dancing rabbits, a chorus line up of girls in sparkly dresses and musical numbers from the charts in the year gone by.

He's behind you!

He’s behind you!

Pantos are all about audience participation. If you’re not in the mood to boo and hiss the baddies and shout ‘he’s behind you!’ at the top of your voice, then just don’t bother. Most of the fun comes from people’s reactions around you and Nottingham provides some cracking audience members.

The childish gags are great. There’s more spitting than in a queue outside Forum on a Thursday night, more whipped cream being squirted than your average Ann Summers bash and more puns than a Tab IMS report. There is even a mini-rave in the middle of Act 2.

John Elkington as Slurp in a health and safety nightmare on stage

John Elkington as Slurp in a health and safety nightmare on stage

The star of the show is Dame Daisy (Kenneth Alan Taylor). Every entrance was met with rapturous applause and deservedly so. When the plot falls apart and the actors deviate from the script (practically every 5 minutes) it is Kenneth who brings it back and has the audience in stitches in doing so.

Kenneth Alan Taylor is the star of Nottingham

Kenneth Alan Taylor is the star of Nottingham

The Dame’s costumes were magnificent, as was the spectacular set. It was like an explosion in a glitter and sequin factory and, by the end your eyes will ache from all the bright colours.

Jack and the Beanstalk has something for everyone – singing, dancing, a few dirty jokes and the spirit of Christmas. You are guaranteed to leave with a smile on your face!

30 years old and still a triumph

30 years and still a triumph

Jack and the Beanstalk is on until Saturday 18th January 2014. Tickets from £20, book here