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PANTO REVIEW: Jack And The Beanstalk at The Wyvern Theatre
Jack And The Beanstalk is currently showing at The Wyvern Theatre as pantomimes return in 2021 to help provide the best theatrical entertainment possible in the build-up to Christmas. Read the thoughts of our expert reviewer below and find out whether Swindon's panto is a hit or miss in 2021.
What does the pantomime mean to you? To me it is a theatrical celebration of everything that makes Christmas wonderful. Jokes, songs, a captivating storyline, dancing, and of course engaging crowd interaction are the ingredients required for a brilliant Christmas panto. Fortunately, the Wyvern Theatre’s performance of Jack and the Beanstalk had all of that.
The return of panto in 2021 was welcomed with eager anticipation after Christmas for the best part was cancelled last year. From the opening exchange between Louis Spence (Spirit of The Beans) and Danny Lane (Fleshcreep), the audience inside the Wyvern Theatre was captivated by the energy and humorous exchanges between themselves and those on-stage.
A cast starring Spence, Lane, Zack Guest, Matt Rixon, Millie O’Connell, Samuel Parker, and Rebecca Jardine promised high-energy family-fun entertainment and this performance delivered on all fronts.
Attending with my partner I was slightly concerned many around us would frown with quizzical looks should we join in when asked to, however, whether we were asked to cheer, boo, sing, or shout: ‘they’re behind you’, everyone seemed to be joining in, including the Mayor of Swindon on our row.
All of the performers were excellent and uniquely funny in their own way but a special mention has to go to Matt Rixon (Dame Trott) and Samuel Parker (Silly Billy) due to their on-stage dynamic provoking belly-wrenching laughs from the audience. Billy and Dame Trott were experts in interacting with the crowd and pushing the storyline along as Jack sought to defeat the Giant Blunderbore.
Whilst the actors were excellent throughout, the set construction, costumes, and music must also be commended as without these the show would have struggled to be as magical as it was. The music and special FX was fantastic in setting the mood.
The quality of the set design whether the scene was being played out in the village or the giants cast made you feel as if you were there, and the costumes [our favourite was Daisy The Cow] showcased the flamboyant artistic talents of those involved behind the scenes.
The Wyvern Theatre’s pantomime offering of Jack And The Beanstalk promised a giant panto spectacular, and it certainly delivered as giant performances matched the giant energy running throughout the theatre to make this one of the best pantomimes Swindon has seen in recent times.
If you’re looking for a family-friendly event, or perhaps even want an evening out with your loved one, this production is for everyone and is the perfect Christmas concoction to get you into the festive spirit as Christmas Day approaches.
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