Thursday, 15 December 2011

Review 1

Bournemouth Echo

IT'S as much a part of Christmas as turkey and tinsel - a good pantomime is the perfect way to forget the stresses of shopping and kick-start that festive feeling.
And thankfully this version of Jack and the Beanstalk is a real Christmas cracker that even Ebeneezer Scrooge would be unable to resist.

It contains everything a traditional pantomime should – a brave hero to cheer, a dastardly villain to boo, a hefty dose of slapstick for the kids and enough innuendo to keep the accompanying adults amused.
Much of its success is down to a great cast, led superbly by Cbeebies star Chris Jarvis, Bad Girls actress Debra Stephenson and former Coronation Street baddie Brian Capron.
Chris says he loves performing in his home town, and it shows. As Jack's brother Silly Billy he is cheeky, charming and deliciously camp and his local knowledge is spot on – the Imax, surf reef, Castlepoint and Dave Wells are among the many targets of his gags.
He's perfectly matched by Debra, who makes a good Jack but is an even better impressionist. Her quick-fire imitations of, amongst others, Cheryl Cole, Davina McCall, Hilary Devey, Lorraine Kelly and Katie Price are a real highlight of the show – sadly wasted on the children but a real treat for the parents.

Crucially, given the young age of the audience, the panto rattles along at a cracking pace, with constant jokes that more often than not hit the mark. This is a show that sparkles like the fairy lights on a Christmas tree.

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