Liz Coggins reviews Leeds premier pantomime at The City Varieties.
Its taken a couple of past productions to get the content right, but this year the City Varieties Rock n Roll Panto has achieved pantomime perfection.
Taking traditional pantomime to another level is no easy task but Jack and the Beanstalk ticks every pantomime box. The story, the characters and the general format is played out in the well loved traditional way. Its laced with audience participation, has lots of belly laughs, some great songs, A fairy that sparkles and a really cute giant whose guaranteed not to give the tiny tots nightmares.
A high energy, fast moving production full of vitality, the talented cast sing, act, dance play musical instruments forming the accompaniment and must be one of the hardest working panto companies in the country!
As Dame Dolly Durden, Simon Nock is brash, in your face and has great comedy timing, in fact he’s everything that a panto dame should be.
Hollie Cassar, as Fairy Aubergine and Robin Johnson as Fleshcreep balance beautifully as good and evil, and are one of the best duos I have seen for a long time.
Completing the cast are Kenny Davies as the loveable but dim Billy, Joe Vetch and Rachael Garnett as Jack and Jill who not only look the part but blend superbly in the vocals. Jack Benjamin is a stern but loveable giant with a great smile, Francesca Gosling his diminutive wife, Peter Peverley the bumbling Squire and axeman Scott Harrison.
If you’ve never experienced a rock’n’roll panto then you must it’s the perfect treat for all ages for the festive season.
Runs until Sunday 12th January 2014