Review of Jack and the Beanstalk - Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond
TONY Liddington, writer and director, certainly had a moment of genius when he decided to set this year’s pantomime in a circus ring. It is so difficult to produce something which is fresh and exciting, but keeps the traditional elements we all love. Tony has managed to do all this and more creating, in my opinion, the best pantomime Richmond has ever seen.
The main themes and plot of the story are the same, but we are given more reasons as to why the Giant is evil and the way the family is intertwined into the story show a great skill and understanding of pantomime.
Gary Bridgens as Ida Bean provides a Dame with a bit of an edge about her, but instantly has the audience in his, sorry her, control. The rapport between Ida and the audience is a delight to be part of. Emily Essery as Jilly Bean and Lawrence Swaddle as Jack Bean form a delightful partnership, showing great circus skills. The boos are saved for Hetty Heinz played by Natalie Verhaegen who is perfectly evil. Jake England-Johns returns for a second year to Richmond and takes command as Harry Coco and the Giant.
The set and costumes are outstanding. Great use is made of the whole theatre. The Giant costume alone is worth attending the show to see. If you are looking for an intimate, friendly atmosphere bursting with professionalism then this is the show for you.
Jack and the Beanstalk runs until Sunday 3rd January.