Jack and the Beanstalk is this year's panto of choice at the Gala Theatre, Durham. Tickets are available from now for performances until 7th January and are priced from just £6 (family ticket £50-£58). The theatre is running a special deal with the Fat Hippo Durham where kids can eat free if they are heading to watch the show. YUM! See Gala Theatre website for details. We sent guest reviewer Kim and her family along to watch the show and let us all know her thoughts. Over to Kim...........
Last night, we went to see the Durham Gala Theatre pantomime of Jack and the Beanstalk. We were a party of 5 – myself, my two children, who are 10 and 7, Nanna, and Great Nanna. We arrived at 5.40pm for a 6pm start, and although it was very busy, we were able to collect our tickets straight away.
The show began almost 10 minutes late, but once it got started, the story got into full swing. The show was written and directed by Neil Armstrong and Paul Hartley, who play Fleshcreep and Silly Simon. Most of the actors in the show are local, and the Pantomime itself was set in Spennymoor, so there was a lot of local jokes, and tongue-in-cheek mocking of some local places, but all in good fun.
The Dame of the show was great fun, and picked a poor man in the front row for most of the jokes and innuendo, which he took in good spirits, and played along. The characters were really well played, with most of the characters keeping to the same ones as the classic story, and some being new additions, which made it a little more interesting. The same goes for the story itself – the gist of the show was based on the story, with some changes in there, which we thought were great.
The songs in the show were really funny, with some being based on current and older pop songs, with new lyrics, which the children thought were great. The villain of the story, Fleshcreep, was tremendous - he played a great part, and was very funny too. This is his 30th year in panto, and you can tell! His part in the show required some special effects, including pyrotechnics, which were amazing! Jack’s brother’s character, Silly Simon, was great fun, and very funny, and played a great team with Milkshake the Cow!
The main characters of Jack and Princess Jilliana were played very well, with a good rapport between the two of them. My favourite character was Moonflower the good fairy, who is determined to conquer her evil brother Fleshcreep, and return the Amazing Amulet of Auckland to its rightful place.
As in every good pantomime, there is always the tiny, cute dancer, whose role in this show was ‘Daisy Dobson of Dobson’s Dairy’, and for being such a small girl, she played her part very well, remembering all her dances, and also her speaking parts.
Overall, we all thought this was a great show, and would say it was just as good, if not better, than some of the larger venue pantomimes we have been to previously, and at a fraction of the price! I will definitely be looking into this pantomime again for next Christmas.
Thanks Kim - it sounds like you had a fantastic time! Tickets are still available for performances until 7th January via the Gala Theatre, Durham Website here.
Disclosure : We were provided with complimentary press tickets
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