Review: Jack and the Beanstalk, Scarborough Spa

The Spa Theatre Scarborough . Jack and the Beanstalk - Dame Phil Beck prepares for the big show
The Spa Theatre Scarborough . Jack and the Beanstalk - Dame Phil Beck prepares for the big show

Oh yes it is – Jack and the Beanstalk at Scarborough Spa is traditional right down to the dyed roots of Dame Tilly Trott’s pink wig.

That is it’s strength and its charm – other pantomimes might boast superstar headliners straight from Strictly or 3D effects which put Pixar to shame.

But what it lacks it gadgets and gizmos, the Spa panto makes up for in slapstick, silliness and songs.

It’s colourful, tuneful and full of gags and audience participation.

Based loosely on the fairytale, Jack and the Beanstalk ls the story of earnest boy Jack who sells the family cow Diasy for a bag of beans.

The beanstalk grows so tall that Jack and his friends can climb up it and enter the giant’s kingdom and steal his gold – thereby saving his family and friends from the fiend and financial ruin.

Writer-director Phil Beck weaves fun and laughter into this tale with custard pie throwing, the ghost routine and water gunfights.

There are lots of opportunies to sing-along, clap-alomng, hiss, boo and shout ‘it’s behind you’.

Beck’s script is naughty but nice with risque rhymes and saucy sayings – all delivered in the best of taste.

Beck also plays Dame Tilly Trott – and he is simply a great dame. He totters about on silver platform boots, nodding and winking as he flirts with the dads and calls on sympathy from the mums.

Mike Carnell as Silly Billy is to intents and purposes te dame’s comedy partner – and he and Peck work tirelessly to hold the panto together and give it the rock solid core it needs for the others to revolve round.

Carnell’s rapport with the youngsters is genuine and warm – and they take to him immediately.

Scarborough-born-and-bred talent Lori Kellett as Jill and Charlotte Buxton as Fairy Sweet Pea bring a sweet,tuneful note to the proceedings and are complimented by Louise Willoughby as Jack. (This panto is so traditional the principal boy is a girl).

Nick Fawcett is a jolly King and Dave Kustard lives up to his name – Fleshcreep. He relised the role of the baddie and revelled in the hisses and boos.

Members of TLC Dance bring youthful charm – and assured dance routines to the stage.

There are topical refrerences – Brexit, Toff and Strictly to name three – and local references.

Full of pop tunes, lively routines, silliness, slapstick and audience participation, Jack and the Beanstalk is a first rate, traditional panto, Oh yes it is.

Tickets on: 01723 821888 or www.scarboroughspa.co.uk

Times and dates:

Thursday December 14 at 10am (schools); Friday December 15 at 10am (schools)

Saturday December 16 at 2pm and 6.30pm

Sunday December 17 at 2pm and 6.30pm

Tuesday December 19 at 10am (schools)

Wednesday December 20 at 10am (schools)

Thursday December 21 at 10am (schools)

Friday December 22 at 10am (schools)

Saturday December 23 2pm and 7pm

Christmas Eve at 2pm

Boxing Day at 2pm and 7pm

Wednesday December 27 at 2pm and 7pm

Thursday December 28 at 2pm and 7pm

Friday December 29 at 2pm and 7pm

Saturday December 30 at 2pm and 7pm

New Year’s Eve at 2pm

New Year’s Day at 2pm.