Review of Ely pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk
14:20 07 January 2014
Jack and the Beanstalk
KD Theatre Productions at The Maltings, in Ely.
The essence of pantomime is tradition. We want a well known story, set routines, comedy, slapstick, pathos, audience participation (oh yes, we do) and good to triumph over evil. Daniel Bell and Katherine Hickmott, the two young entrepreneurs who have developed KD Theatre Productions know this and in their biggest venture yet bring ‘Jack and the Beanstalk’ to Ely Maltings.
This is a well-paced, professional, beautifully costumed and staged pantomime that sweeps the audience along in safe hands. We can relax and enjoy. Using a small young professional company keeps the production tight giving everyone a chance to shine, but no one or no routine is over indulged. Sarah-Jane Price as Princess Apricot and Rachel Rawlinson as Jack Trott are both confident and powerful singers, while the twinkling Lucinda Withers is a delightful Fairy Eco, matched by the smoothly mellifluous William Elliott as Fleshcreep (Boo!). The comedy is in safe hands with the rubber-faced Terry Gauci as King Crumble and Dom Owen, as every child in the audience would like as their daft kid brother, Silly Billy. Daisy the Cow, gives a performance born of years of milking audiences, while Mark Peters, well known for Star Radio, makes a guest appearance, but of course, it is the nimble footed, outrageous costume-wearing, in outfits designed by Patricia and Ken Skinner, Daniel Bell who links everything.
As Dame Trott Daniel Bell is an exceptional Dame. He exudes charm and with all the confidence of a seasoned professional, effortlessly works the audience and the ‘unfortunate victim’ he chooses to be part of the fun.
We relax, because even when sliding or rushing around in the slapstick routines, we know that he is always in total control.
There is a live band led by Oli Rew, delightful smiley panto babes co-ordinated by Beth Pearson, good sound by Leo Humphrey and excellent lighting by Gregory Jordan, which greatly enhances the whole production, giving some magical effects.
While Daniel Bell is the writer, director and performer, his colleague Katherine Hickmott is the choreographer and an integral part of the success of any show. In this production her inventive routines are performed by four talented and hard-working dancers in Jessica Theobald, Devan Kellett, Adam Crossley and Nye Rees who collectively, and when joined by the Babes, provide some of the outstanding ensemble moments.
Jack and the Beanstalk runs at the Maltings until January 14th, so there is time to take the whole family to relax, enjoy and treasure live theatre.
(Box Office 01638 781037) You will also be able to say that you were part of that incredible journey that KD Theatre productions are on. Jack and the Beanstalk is professional and slick, but above all, it is fun in the best pantomime tradition.