"great dollop of festive fun"
by Jeremy Miles for remotegoat on 08/12/17

It’s panto time and Bournemouth is pulling out all the stops with a rompalong production of Jack and the Beanstalk. The two hour show offers fun for all the family. There are of course all the usual panto-land staples.

The redoubtable hero Jack is played by singer/Tv presenter Derek Moran. S Club 7 star Rachel Stevens is the ditzy fairy, young actress Jess Pritchard is the beautiful Princess and Jamie Steen is super-daft Dame Trot. Marcus Knibbs meanwhile is the good King while Emmerdale’s Mark Moraghan - the current narrator of Thomas the Tank Engine - is the superbly slimy villain Fleshcreep.

The whole thing his held together by hyper-energetic funnyman Noel Brodie as Simple Simon. His rapport with the young audience helps keeps the pace moving at just the right speed.

Of course there are actually two villains in this story, the aforementioned Fleshcreep and his unspeakable master, the ever-hungry power-crazed giant Blunderball who has a particular liking for slices of princess pie. While Fleshcreep is made real by the masterful Mr Moraghan, Blunderball is all sound-effects and a brief but spectacular projected image sequence.

Add lights, music, laughter, Daisy the cow, a terrifyingly dodgy business deal, a very impressive beanstalk, a custard pie or two and a sensational spot of 3D ghost-busting and giant-slaying and you have the perfect recipe for a great dollop of festive fun.

There are cheers as good triumphs over evil, Fleshcreep gets his cumuppance and Jack marries the princess. A royal wedding. What more could you possibly ask for?

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