Jack and the Beanstalk – Palace Theatre, Redditch
IF you’re heading out of town for a panto this Christmas, think again.
For the panto playing now at the Palace Theatre in Redditch is so good it would comfortably hold its own against the best in the country.
And we’re not saying that just because they gave an outageous plug to the Redditch Standard at the performance on Sunday (but thanks King Crumble) but because it really is that good.
With Vernie Bennett (The Spirit of the Beans) from Eternal and Lloyd Daniels (Jack Trott) from The X Factor topping the bill, both the singing and the songs are absolutely top notch, while music maestro Sam Dando makes sure a beat is never missed.
If that wasn’t enough, at the heart of this production lies the comic geniuses of Ian Mowat (Dame Trott) and Tony Rudd (Simple Simon) who keep the laughs coming from beginning to end.
They do so with an extraordinary sense of fun, imbuing classic panto routines with a freshness and joy that had the audience in stitches.
There are some great local jokes in the there too, the one about Bromsgrove in particular bringing knowing laughs from everyone.
Simon Kingsley (Fleshcreep) is a suitably wide-eyed baddie, while excellent support comes from Andrew Haynes (King Crumble) and Hannah Bond (Princess).
The troupe of dancers deserve a special mention too – the stage at the Palace isn’t the biggest in the world yet they didn’t put a foot wrong.
Indeed, faults are hard to find and the entire production, including the costumes, stage and yes, giant Blunderbore himself, were a joy to behold.
In addition the cast were obviously enjoying themselves and their sense of fun quickly passed to the audience as well.
In short, Redditch has found itself with an absolute gem of a panto – a real Christmas treat – it’s the best laugh in town and thoroughly recommended.