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24 September 2014
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December 2003
Jack and the Beanstalk - The Playhouse
Russell Dixon as Dame Trott

Russell Dixon as Dame Trott

Our most pretentious, egocentric reviewer Tim Bearder is probably the last person you'd expect to see at the panto.
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Tim Bearder

My house mate and I are standing in the press reception at Jack And The Beanstalk wondering how we managed to end up here on a Saturday night. Small children are dashing around our feet throwing balloons over our mulled wine.

At 27 I am about as detached from the little children as it's possible to be. I don't have any children of my own, I don't go anywhere where there are children and nobody I know has children, yet everywhere you look tonight they move like one contiguous mass and it's hilarious.

Jack
Read Jeremy Stern's interview with the baddie Malice

In the seat next to me a small child peers down from his raised pillow, clutching a bag of sweets as big as his torso. He rocks, kicks and fidgets incessantly like an angry mongoose in a bottle, his flailing little legs kicking mine without any of the stifled concern for personal space that accompanies adults at the theatre. All this together with the little chap in front waving a sparkling light sword right in my line of view could have become tiresome, didn't.

The panto is all about the kids and as they say in the cartoons, if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. By the end of the story Paul and I were standing up singing the songs with the rest of the adults trying to out-do the kids. We'd be shouting, "He's behind you!" whenever the mighty giant appeared and we'd be booing whenever Malice crept out of the shadows.

Don't be put off because this panto doesn't have anyone from the cast of neighbours, it is a really slick production packed with loads of great effects, and as the dad next to me said, "It's just great family entertainment." I can't really say anything more about the standard panto format it's tried and tested, what more do you want?

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