REVIEW: Jack and the Beanstalk, Theatre Royal Norwich

David Burilin as Jack_Mira Ormala as Jolene_and Harriet Bunton as Dolly the fairy ANL-161216-102614001
David Burilin as Jack_Mira Ormala as Jolene_and Harriet Bunton as Dolly the fairy ANL-161216-102614001

Yee haw - there’s a wacky Wild West theme to East Anglia’s biggest panto this year as Nodge City is the setting for the popular tale of Jack and the Beanstalk.

Writer, director, star and general Norwich treasure Richard Gauntlett has plenty of fun with Stetsons, line dancing and cowboy chaps!

He plays Dame Trottalot, Jack’s mum, with an impressive amount of elaborate frocks, and is joined again by Diss-based comic actor Ben Langley as Jack’s brother, Silly Billy. They have the best routines, with plenty of slapstick fun and quick witted renditions.

Former Royal Ballet star Wayne Sleep is a pirouetting baddie, Phineas P Stinkworthy, and shows he still has it with a great tap number, David Burilin (who was in Snow White last year) plays Jack, and local girl Harriet Bunton is Dolly The Fairy and yes, there’s more than a nod to the godmother of country music, Dolly Parton.

You can expect the usual smattering of topical references - Ipswich always takes a beating - plenty of ab-libbing, lots of dance numbers and a lovely collection of babes who almost steal the show as cute little chicks. Special mention should go to the set, created by Scenic Pantomimes from Lowestoft, which takes us to the American plains, a cattle ranch and a saloon, and also includes a stunning giant, with a great Naarfolk accent, and a towering beanstalk!

This is another great family show which is as much a part of Christmas celebrations here in Norfolk as turkey and tinsel. You’ll love it!

The panto runs until January 15.

Sarah Hardy