Jack and the Beanstalk – The giant pantomime spectacular!
Written by Alan McHugh
Directed by Jonathan Wilkes and Kai Owen
Review by David Bithell
Photography by Clara Lou Photography
Well here it is again, panto time at the Regent Theatre, Hanley. Making his 19th, yes 19th appearance treading the festive boards in Stoke is the potteries favourite son, Jonathan Wilkes and joining him again the impressive and lovable Kai Owen.
The dynamic duo has pulled another rabbit out the hat and given the audiences at The Regent another fantastic offering with Jack and the Beanstalk this year. Jonny with his usual blend of charm, infectious wit and his clear love of the area is for all to see. You wouldn’t think it is his 19th panto because this feels fresher than ever.
Following closely to the original panto story, we are introduced to Jack Trot (Wilkes), his dad Farmer Trot (Owen), the evil baddie Fleshcreep (Noel Sullivan), Princess Jill (Michelle Andrews) and The Spirit of the beans (Rio Maye), supported by a talented ensemble too.
Packed with innuendos for the mums and dads, and typical slapstick comedy and jokes about Noel Sullivan’s previous band Hear’say where he emphasises, they’ve had 2 number 1’s AND a number 4.
it is a panto for all ages with a very very impressive 3D segment where we are all asked to don our 3D specs that were handled out prior to the show. This was a bit of theatrical brilliance and it is the first time I have witnessed 3D in theatre.
A lovely set design, lighting and songs relating to our beloved Stoke on Trent it is none stop from the moment the cast enter the stage right until the curtain closes. The fact the script brings local understanding and mentions little anedotes about various areas in the city draws the audience in and instantly connects them with the cast on stage.
With over 2 hours of pure panto entertainment, this is one not to be missed and it was clear to see as the young audience left the theatre with beaming smiles on their faces, job done!
Jack and the Beanstalk is at the Regent Theatre until Sunday 7th January 2024.
Tickets available at https://www.atgtickets.com/shows/jack-and-the-beanstalk/regent-theatre/