"Traditional panto at its best"
by Philip Herbert for remotegoat on 29/11/14

It is panto time again - OH YES IT IS !
Greenwich Theatre's festive offering this year is Jack & the Beanstalk .
A poor family have to sell their only possession Daisy The Cow to pay the ever increasing rent and taxes demanded by The Giant Blunderbore and his evil side-kick Nightshade. There is a love interest for all the girls and boys as Jack secretly fancies Jill The Mayor's daughter ( Mayor Boris by the way ) and Jill secretly fancies Jack . There is a magic fairy - Fairy Fullobeans and we mustn't forget the star of the show Dame Trott .

Written , directed and starring as the dame is Andrew Pollard - this is his 9th year in residence so he must be doing something right . Here is a faultless show with clean comedy , dynamic dance numbers from a very enthusiastic ensemble and spirited and energetic singing from the entire cast - we even get a Queen medley and an Elvis tribute too - so the grown up were well pleased too . There are some VERY OLD GAGS which is to be expected and some very new ones including a 'Black Friday' reference on Black Friday - " I'm on special offer "cackles the dame and gets a round of applause for it too !

Tom Oakley gives Jack a great deal of appeal and we become friends immediately - likewise Jill Sophie Ayers gives it plenty of gusto too . The cow was not the usual panto variety but a talented puppet in a pram that captivates the audience both young and old . I have never seen this device used before and it certainly worked well - so lifelike , so playful and so appealing .

Mellissa Keyes as Fairy Fullobeans gives us a strutting , twerking Jamaican style fairy who certainly was full of beans . She tells the story well and gives the character some special magic and some belting ballsy singing too . The villain a small but deadly Alim Jayda excels as Nightshade and got all the right boos in all the right places . Last but not least is Martin Johnston as Mayor Boris a bumbling fool who shows he is not all stupid when there is fighting to be done and the giant needs defeating . Once again The Giant Blunderbore takes up most of the stage and I did see one or two of the smaller children hide or hug the parents when he first appeared .

From the first note of the overture to the final Y.M.C.A ( young moo cows association ) singalong the band headed by Steve Markwick is excellent . The audience clapped along from beginning to end and we all left the theatre pleased as punch that we had attended such a high energy piece of theatre . A MUST SEE 5 well deserved stars .

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