Jack and the Beanstalk - FALDOS

RICHARD PARR Fakenham Community Centre

RICHARD PARR

Fakenham Community Centre

Anything goes in the world of pantomime and, in their early seasonal offering this year, the award-winning Fakenham and District Light Operatic Society gave a few new twists on a traditional story.

There were some surprising elements to this production, including a trip north of the border for a highland fling, community singing normally associated with wartime and an energetic blue and silver finale featuring the music of Abba.

Maria Cutting showed off her great thighs in the role of principal boy Jack Trot, with Tony George in the role of a rather saucy (and slender) Dame Titania. The villain of the piece, Rancid, was played with fiendish cunning by Paul Fawcett, and Chloe Beveridge and Paula Tuck get close as Daisy the cow.

The talented Ben Francis was a loveable Simple Simon in Andy Pandy- style dungarees, with Robin Hawkes as King Hubert and Helen Hawkes as a delightful Princess Melissa.

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Rob Garrett made a striking giant with a particularly impressive head on his tall shoulders.

As always with this group, the staging and lighting were effective and there was some energetic performances by the chorus in musical numbers including Avenue Q and Fortuosity. There was a particularly humorous and saucy duet from the Dame and the King in its Never Too Late to Fall in Love.

All the traditional pantomime ingredients were there, including the “he's behind you” sketch, use of up-to-date local references (there was a mention of Fakenham's new Lidl store) and audience participation with some community singing of wartime songs, such as It's a Long Way to Tipperary and Pack Up Your Troubles in Your Old Kit Bag.

Directors Grant Harrison and Paula Tuck, musical director Jo Kemp and choreographers Ben Francis and Paula Tuck can be congratulated on a colourful and lively show.

Oh yes they can!

t The pantomime continues nightly until Saturday December 8, when there is also a matinee performance. Tickets are available from the box office at the Evolve gift shop on Norwich Street, or by calling 01328 862622.

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