It’s always exciting to see a new production of a legendary show in a new venue. Jack and the Beanstalk @ Derby Arena didn’t disappoint.
This has to be the most gag-packed panto in history. It flies at 100MPH and is a joy for the entire family. Act 2 is faultless and one of the most beautifully staged pieces of family theatre I’ve ever seen.
Despite the enormity of Derby Arena, the producers have done a great job making the space intimate. As always though, panto is only as good at its cast and Derby have struck gold!
Duncan James is the hugely talented & popular singer & actor and delivers the star power effortlessly as Jack. Total pro & a joy to watch.
It has to be said though that the heart and laughs (naturally) come from the superb Morgan Brind. An instantly lovable Dame with world class costumes.
You cannot fail to be impressed by this panto. New, innovative, high energy and a hoot for the entire family!
Listen to our HD TV review here via YouTube:
At times Jack and the Beanstalk is too clever for its own good. The ‘Banksy picture shredding gag’ is the most topical and brilliant gag I’ve ever seen in a panto. At least I got it! 5* for effort!
The writing is extra-ordinary, especially at a time when most of the ‘big theatre cut and paste productions’ rarely change a single word year on year.
This show is a traditional telling of this much loved fairy tale. It also stays true to all of the panto schtick that we love and wait for.
Enjoy an exclusive HD video interview with Duncan and Alex via YouTube:
Morgan’s costumes are exceptional and match his energy and charm on stage.
Equal kudos to Lawrence Boothman who is a delicious baddy. Such charisma and the perfect balance of naughtiness, creepiness and silliness to satisfy all age groups – a hugely tricky balance.
Act 1 is incredibly wordy and the little-uns may struggle to focus at times, however, Act 2 is sensationally slick and beautifully produced.
With slapstick, schtick, nonsense, spectacle and hilarity – you cannot fail to be wowed by the end.
Here’s Alex & Duncan in Derby in 2018:
Duncan gives the audience what they want by the end (BLUE medley) and is sickeningly handsome throughout. He gives it 100% and absolutely deserves star status in this production.
Sound is always going to be the biggest enemy of any show in an arena and this does affect the laughs and atmosphere, especially in the first half.
However, there is no doubting that JACK AND THE BEANSTALK @ Derby Arena is the most creative, inventive and visually inspiring traditional panto that I’ve seen in years.
Interview by Alex Belfield for Celebrity Radio 30th November 2018