Jack and the Beanstalk by Evolution Productions
Reviewed 2 December 2023
Fabulous production full of beans!
This year’s offering from Evolution Productions and the team at Theatre Severn is Jack and the Beanstalk. Written by Paul, it is an updated take on the tale of a young lad who swaps the family cow for some magic beans.
We have a new hero in the form of Jess, a gutsy girl who leads the fight against the giant and his sidekick, Luke Backinanger. We still have Jack Trott, who has all the looks but not the nerve, and Jack and Jill are joined by Jack’s brother Billy. The plot centres around Luke Backinanger who failed a Boy Band audition, and the giant’s weather machine which is set to destroy the environment for the village of Chucklemore. Sound a bit convoluted? Well, maybe it is, but this is pantoland, and anything goes, and there is certainly plenty of fun to be had. If you do get lost in the story, we have Fairy Sugarsnap, the vegetable Fair, to help keep you up to date.
The cast is headed up by Brad Fitt, who also directs, as Dame Trott. Brad has been playing Dame at Theatre Severn for well over ten years now, and the local audience clearly love him. His laid-back but sharp approach, and dead-pan delivery of the many one-liners is brilliant, and has everyone in stitches, but without stealing the show – although he comes close in the slosh scene. I don’t want to give too much away, but it involves the Giant’s weather machine, some weather-related songs, and a lot of water!
Lucas Rush could not be camper as Luke Backinanger, as he seeks his revenge for his failed audition. There is a bit of a twist in his relationship with the giant, but I won’t give that away here. He has some hilarious moments throughout the show, while managing to keep the kids booing him whenever he appeared. The Boy Band skit was a particular stand-out moment, especially with the accompanying video.
Sadly, for me, the beanstalk growing is a blink-and-you-miss it moment, and the giant has more of a supporting role, being on-stage for what seemed like only a couple of minutes. However, those are minor points in what was otherwise a show full of beans, and well worth a visit – if you can get a ticket!
Jack and the Beanstalk in at The Theatre Severn until 7th January 2024.