JACK AND THE BEANSTALK
Keeping the panto flag flying through the snow and ice, Danbury Players with their Jack and the Beanstalk, directed by James Tovey, who was also the imaginative MD.
Not a bad recipe: a fairy tale, some classic show tunes, and in the line-up a mix of experience and youthful enthusiasm.
Stuart Charlesworth donned the dame's dress this year – a genial, if fidgety, Dotty Trott, working up a good rapport with his audience. Only the one dress – times are hard in Merrydown – but a colourful one. His offspring – that wooden doll make-up must be genetic – were played by Stephanie Wright [a proper, thigh-slapping principal boy] as Idle Jack, Georgia Westley as Jill, and Jamie Haines working hard as Silly “Who touched my helmet?” Billy.
Among the more experienced thesps, a boo-able Jean Speller, Annette Michaels as Miss Muffet [yes, there was a splendid spider] and Iris Hill as a flustered fairy in a meringue frock.
A high-tech giant, Gigi, South Pacific and Life of Brian. A bemused dog in the back of the audience, along with Keith and Alan from the Ukulele Club. And as we left, the whole cast lined our exit to sing us out with We Wish You A Merry Christmas. My colleague Jim Hutchon and I would happily sing along with that …