Family fun in York's pantomime


Jack and the Beanstalk has fabulous sets, spectacular costumes, vibrant choreography and a brilliant live musical accompaniment and one of the best giants I have ever seen – but that’s as far as it goes!

Maybe its time that New Pantomime Productions stood back and took a look at its scripts, casting and plots which this year are far below the standard that we have come to expect.

The story itself lacks depth and substance and is all over the place with overly long dialogue in places with which even the cast appear bored with.

Ionica Adriana (Witch Blackweed) needs to get to grips with her evil character and realise stance and facial expression can quieten a noisy audience instead of coming out of character and shouting in a rough voice over the footlights.

As Fairy Peapod X Factor’s Jade Ellis is appealing but her magical persona is soon destroyed for the little ones when she steps out of fairy mode and into chorus numbers.

Caroline Barnes makes a pretty-as-a-picture but spirited Princess Jill and blends beautifully in the vocals with Russ Spencer as Jack, who is not so much the dashing hero but a more mature and chunky character.

Although there’s plenty of comedy its sometimes self indulgent and there’s a tad too many cod dries (where the audience think it’s an accident but its not). Stuart Wade (Tilly Trot) tries his best but being a dame is an acquired art, not just putting on fantastic frocks, whilst Chris Casey (Simple Simon) needs to lighten up and be much more energetic.

But the embarrassment of the night came from Lewis Bloor (King Willy) who can’t sing in tune, move and has no acting skills. Pantomime is no place for him he should have stayed in TOWIE.

Till 3 January

Review by Liz Coggins

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