Panto at the Roses caters for all tastes, says the Journal's David Wood

Tewkesbury Admag: Panto at the Roses caters for all tastes, says the Journal's David Wood Panto at the Roses caters for all tastes, says the Journal's David Wood

WHEN a pantomime includes an incredible 14-foot tall giant singing Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love and also features a medley of Muppet songs and ends with an uplifting song from Grease, it's fair to say it caters for all tastes.

Everyone associates pantos with children, but while Jack and the Beanstalk - this year's seasonal offering at The Roses in Tewkesbury - had eager youngsters dancing with delight at the front of the auditorium, I can't believe there were many adults in the audience who didn't thoroughly enjoy it too.

Writer and director Ben Crocker has produced a very well scripted and highly amusing show.

Sure, there was the fair share of the corny jokes you always expect at a panto - when Daisy the Cow appeared, I said to myself: "Here comes an udder joke" - but the writer excelled himself by crafting not one but than three udder gags in quick succession.

But there were also topical jokes to be had at the expense of celebrities such as Miley Cyrus and Nigella Lawson, the latter referring to an event that had only been in the news in the past few days, so the show had a very fresh feel to it.

The storyline was loosely based on the well-worn tale of Jack, played by Elizabeth Christensen, who sells Daisy, the family cow, to help the family out of a financial pickle.

Noel White, who played Jack's mother, Dame Trott, was in terrific form, regularly engaging with the audience and frequently ad libbing in great style.

The real villain of the piece was not the Giant but his sidekick Slimeball (Philip Andrew), a character I can't recall from reading the story as a child, but an inspired addition to this brilliant version of the story. 

I haven't been to a pantomime for many a year but for anyone thinking about taking their children - or even their Granny - to one this Christmas would have to go a very long way to beat this show.

Jack and the Beanstalk runs at The Roses until January 4. Call the box office on 01684 295074.

David Wood

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