Review: Jack and the Beanstalk, Alive Corn Exchange, King's Lynn
PUBLISHED: 13:28 19 December 2017 | UPDATED: 15:37 19 December 2017
Teachers deftly park their charges row by row, as curtain up ticks closer and King’s Lynn’s Alive Corn Exchange fills with the best part of 500 excited children.
Then BOOF! A pink fairy appears in a puff of smoke, screaming: “He-e-e-ll-o-o-o, he-e-e-ll-o-o-o.”
With a wave of her wand, the music starts, the front rows become a sea of bobbing heads and writhing arms and we’re off.
Jack and the Beanstalk keeps them clapping, singing, boo-ing and yelling “behind you, behind you” for more than two hours.
Slapstick, songs and the odd surprise have even the teachers - some dressed as elves or sporting Christmas jumpers - clapping, tapping their feet and singing along.
“We’re all kids in ‘ere - even the mums and dads and the grannies and grandads,” observes Simple Simon (Scott Cripps) prophetically as the cast get into their stride.
We’re also all in this together, we’re warned by Lord Chamberlain (KL.FM967 Radio’s “Posh” Charles Dennett) as the true extent of Stoney Broke’s financial crisis is laid bare with a side-swipe at Brexit.
Then the cast sigues seamlessly into Abba’s Money, Money, Money - cheered on by hundreds of youngsters who weren’t even born when it first hit the charts.
Act One ends with Fairy Fuschia (Kayleigh McKnight) imploring the beanstalk skywards with a genetically-modified Bond number.
As it rises upwards Jack (Rebecca Lisewski) leaps aboard and joins her in a soaring duet.
There are children dancing on the balcony by the time Act Two kicks off with a rock ‘n rolly doughy interlude, with an exploding sausage gag and a bit of Strictly thrown in.
Then booooooooooo, hisssssssss! The evil Fleshcreep (Ian Reddington) parades the captured Princess Jill (Jessica Croll), who’s destined to become the giant’s dinner.
Cue hungry giant, to giant gasps from the audience before Jill sings him to sleep and the rest of the cast rock up to rescue her and the goose that lays the golden egg, which will save us from ending up brassic. Jack and Jill marry and live happily ever - you know how it goes.
Jack and the Beanstalk is on at the Alive Corn Exchange, King’s Lynn, until Sunday, December 31, with two performances most days. Tickets (£15 - £21.50) via here or 01553 764864.