Jack and the Beanstalk

The cast of Jack and The Beanstalk with the giant. Left to right: Amelle Berrabah as the Fairy, Peter Duncam as Dame Trott, Alex Lodge          as Jack, Bethan-Wyn Davies as Jill, Jay Worthy as Fleshcreep and Connor Byrne as Squire Longshanks. Photograph by Hattie Miles

Jack and the Beanstalk: Lighthouse, Poole, (Friday 13th December, 2019)

What a magical show! Yet actor and one-time Blue Peter presenter Peter Duncan got some very undeserved stick for even planning this wonderful family pantomime.

When telly and the tabloids heard that he was writing and starring in an eco-friendly version of Jack and the Beanstalk inspired by teenage climate change activist Greta Thunberg they stormed in, all guns blazing.

He was given a particularly spectacular mauling on ITV’s Good Morning Britain with Piers Morgan and Toby Young accusing him of  being a killjoy and overly politically correct.

Wow! Of course they hadn’t read the script and certainly hadn’t seen the show. If they had they would have realised how stupid they were being.

The fact is that this is a fantastic family pantomime, a traditional show that encompasses a green message about recycling, re-using and campaigning to save the planet. Topical stuff! But there is nothing remotely preachy about it.

It’s a charming production with the multi-talented Mr Duncan having an absolute ball playing batty but loveable Dame Trott. Together with her son Jack (the excellent Alex Lodge) she has to sell her beloved cow, Daisy, to pay her rising rent.  Worse still they are threatened by a cannibalistic giant called Blunderbore - a huge lumbering creation manouvred with rare aplomb by one-time Israeli intelligence officer turned actor Yuval Shwartsma

It’s song, dance and knockabout fun all the way as Trott, Jack, his girlfriend Jill (Bethan Wyn-Davies) and her dad the local Squire (a brilliant performance from Connor Byrne) battle with Blunderbore and his evil henchman Fleshcreep played with some relish by Jay Worthy. 

They are helped by a good fairy ( former Sugababe Amelle Berrabah). It’s a stunning production, a truly enjoyable high-energy show - perfect for kids, their mums and dads and grannys and granddads too. There are great songs – everything from Elton John to Stormzy – a super talented cast, an entertaining script, corny jokes, a brilliant cow, a crazily horrible giant and a beanstalk you wouldn’t believe. And just in case that isn’t enough there a whole lot of audience participation too. *Jack and the Beanstalk plays Lighthouse, Poole, until 5th January.

Jeremy Miles




© Jeremy Miles 2020