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Jack and the Beanstalk - Review

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by Tony Collins (subscribe)
I am a freelance writer specialising mainly in health and education and living in Staffordshire. Find me on Linked In
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Where else can you see singing sheep and a tap-dancing cow?
If there's one thing that the UK does best, then it is definitely pantomime.

And this quaintly British theatrical creation can be seen at its very best at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre where the classic panto Jack and the Beanstalk is playing to packed audiences.

Graham Cole, Ian Adams, Jack and the Beanstalk
Ian Adams as Dame Trott and Graham Cole as Hemlock in Jack and the Beanstalk

Ian Adams, who again takes on the role of Lichfield 's favourite Dame, has written and directed the Garrick's annual pantomime for the ninth year in succession. And what a fabulous job he makes of it.

As well as the traditional panto ingredients, such as booing the villain, a thigh-slapping hero, and children (and adults) screaming "he's behind you", Ian has also thrown in a number of welcome additions.

Jack and the Beanstalk
Dame Trott with other members of the cast (credit Pamela Raith Photography)

These include a wonderful slapstick take on 'The 12 Days of Christmas' involving a well-known TV shopping channel, an hilarious routine around supermarket name puns, and jokes clearly aimed at adult members of the audience including references to George Osborne and a garlic diet.

Jack and the Beanstalk
Simon and Princess Jill lead dance routine (credit Pamela Raith Photography)

Ian takes on the role of Dame Mary Trott who is faced with losing 'her' dairy farm to the Giant and his evil henchman Hemlock, splendidly played by Graham Cole in a complete change from his previous long-running appearances as PC Tony Stamp in ITV police drama 'The Bill'.

Ian Adams, Graham Cole, Tony Stansfield
Dame Trott, the evil Hemlock and King Percival

But there are excellent performances all round, including Jordan Ginger as Simon, Jo-Anne Stevens as Jill, Dominic Adam Griffin as Jack, Tony Stansfield as King Percival and Hannah Bennett as Fairy Buttermilk.

But this all-singing show is almost stolen by Daisy the tap dancing cow and a delightful quartet of singing sheep.

Lichfield Garrick
Lichfield Garrick playing host to Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk continues at the Lichfield Garrick until Sunday 3 January 2016, with ticket prices starting from 12.50 for children and 21.50 for adults.

To book your tickets call the Box Office on 01543 412121 or visit
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Why? Great Family Entertainment In True Panto Tradition
When: 3 December 2015 to 3 January 2016
Phone: 01543 412121
Where: Lichfield Garrick, Castle Dyke, Lichfield, Staffordshire WS13 6HR
Cost: From 12.50 for children to 21.50 for adults
Your Comment
I love it when pantomimes make current political/satirical in-jokes; it means that even if the show has been put on a hundred times before, it is always different, and makes it more appealing to adults.
by Bastion Harrison (score: 4|12626) 2221 days ago
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