Jack and the Beanstalk
I was invited to see Jack and the Beanstalk at the Grand Opera House.
As a child growing up in Northern Ireland in the eighties it was a ritual that every Christmas we had an outing. This was usually a trip to the Grand Opera House in Belfast to see the Pantomine.
I remember this huge theatre with a big scary stage. It was filled with people and I was handed crisps and sweets to munch on during the performance.
When it started and the lights dimmed, I was amazed that there was a man on stage dressed as a woman! Little did I know back then that this was May McFetteridge.
Although relatively new to the Pantomine in Belfast, he would become a standing fixture for each Pantomine after that! John Lineham is currently celebrating 29 years in Pantomine at the Grand Opera House!
Oh how old I feel!
So when I was invited to come down and see the Pantomine with Owen I jumped at the chance.
The theatre didn’t seem as huge now I am grown up.
It was definitely a lot less scary. However the atmosphere was just as electric.
As the show began I was filled with anticipation and excitement.
Owen was captivated from the second the curtain rose. Even though he is 12 the show made him laugh, clap and respond as the audience was asked all the way during the show.
In the age of iPads and TV it can be hard to keep children amused for a couple hours. This shows knocks that out of the park!
The characters are entertaining and the storyline is simple. So it is for both for kids and adults to enjoy.
The plot is simple.
It is the Story of Jack and the Beanstalk. A poor farming family are terrorised by a giant who demands high rent otherwise he will eat them.
The Trot family is Dame May Trot (May McFetteridge), Farmer Paddy Trot (Paddy Jenkins) and their two sons Simon (Rikki Jay) and Jack (Michael Pickering).
The giants dirty deeds are carried out by Fleshcreep (David Badella).
With a little intervention from Mother Nature (Joanna O’Hare) the Trot family outwit the giant and Fleshcreep.
The pantomime ends with the marriage of Jack Trot and Princess Apricot (Georgia Lennon).
We all love a happy ending!
The acting throughout is superb.
Even when things went wrong during the bed scene, the actors were able to adapt and recover all the while keeping the audience in stitches.
Behind the scenes
Costume and set designs are simply breath-taking. There are stunning light displays and pyrotechnics as well.
The audience was astounded and gasped because the helicopter come out over them! It was a lovely touch to the play.
As the theatre dimmed because helicopter came out further than the stage I thoroughly enjoyed the gasping of the children in the audience!
We had an amazing time and I cannot recommend this show highly enough. There is literally something for all ages to enjoy and it is a great family outing.
Finally you can enjoy Jack and the Beanstalk is on at the Grand Opera House until 13th January 2019.