Review: Jack rises to the occasion at Cley pantomime

The cast of Jack and the Beanstalk at Cley panto. Picture: Martin Braybrook

The cast of Jack and the Beanstalk at Cley panto. Picture: Martin Braybrook - Credit: Martin Braybrook

This year's Cley pantomime was the ever popular Jack and the Beanstalk which was written and produced once again by Sheila Rudgley and directed by John Garner.

As well as the traditional characters it featured eccentric gnome like locals, mischievous children, haughty gentry, up-market locals and a money grabbing Scottish husband and wife all of whom made Jack and his mother's life a misery.

Everybody knows the story of Jack and the Beanstalk, how Jack (Izzy Duncan) and his impecunious mother (Andy Weston) are forced into selling their trusty cow, Daisy, how Jack is tricked into selling her for a handful of beans and how Jack plants the beans, climbs the beanstalk and returns from the giant's castle with the treasure which enables them all to live happily ever after and this, after a few twists and turns along the way, is what happened.

Weston is an experienced performer and he had a good rapport with the audience while young Izzy Duncan showed off her vocal talents as well as her acting ability. Pip Banham and Julie Weston's over the top Scottish accents made them into a convincing Mr and Mrs MacCruddie, Rex and Chris Wheeler shone as Mr and Mrs Farquaharson while Graham Lewis, Joff Bloor and Jo Davis were three suitably eccentric gnomes.

Rosie Gilding choreographed some interesting dance movements while Elisabeth Rooke, who was the Musical Director, worked wonders on the keyboard with John Phelps on drums. All the cast had the opportunity to sing and dance and even if there were a few missed notes and wrong steps it didn't really matter as the audience entered into the spirit of panto with plenty of participation along the way.

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All the members of the Society, especially the 19 strong cast at the village hall, can be pleased with their performances, even if at times the relatively small stage was filled to capacity.

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Review by

Martin Braybrook

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