Jack and the Beanstalk 2011

Pantomime beanstalk really hits the heights

Eskdale & Liddesdale Advertiser



The Reviews


Published Eskdale & Liddesdale Advertiser, Wednesday, 21 December 2011

IT’S that time of year again (oh no it isn’t! Oh, yes it is!) and the Muckle Toon pantomime in the Buccleuch Centre has proved to be more popular than ever with record bookings.

Dynamic duo Judith Johnson, director, and Chris Jones, producer, bring out the best in the talent of Centre Stage Youth Theatre and this, they did, with Jack and the Beanstalk.

Thirty youngsters, aged eight to 16, sang their hearts out as villagers and mice supporting the principal characters so well. They were all helped by their vocal coach, Helen Teasdale.

Les Murray was excellent as the Dame, playing the part of Granny Bean, and with toyboy Jasper, played by Katrina Edmond, kept the audiences in stitches.

Glen Cavers was Jack and his singing and acting were ideal for the part, especially when he sang a love duet with Princess Lima.

A newcomer to Centre Stage was young Georgina Hubbersty who played the double part of the Old Crone who eventually becomes Princess Lima again. Her acting and singing made a great impression.

There always has to be a villain and in this panto it is the Squire Harry Coe, exceptionally well played by Darren Bell, who responded to the audience’s boos and hisses.

The comedy characters of Fetch and Catch were played to the full by Hazel Jeffrey and Melanie Hair who excelled in the audience participation.

Another newcomer was Michelle Sterling who was very good as Mrs Mungus, wife of the Giant, Hugh Mungus, a part that suited Angus McCall so well and whose costume and make-up made him look as if he had eaten a few children from the heather besom parade.

Henry Jeffrey (King) and the Heralds, Craig Pool and Callum Henderson, did well as did Daisy the Cow (front legs Jane Edmond and back legs Jackie Henderson) who kept the audience amused, although never speaking a word.

Everyone knows the story of how Jack sells his cow for a bag of magic beans which turn into a beanstalk and there was a very spectacular scene when this huge beanstalk rose up at the back of the stage.

A production cannot take place without a large number of backstage helpers. Jamie Fletcher was stage manager and his crew on sound were Claire Jeffrey, Jude Connelly, Walter Steele and Denise Cumming.

Supervising costumes was Patricia Little, make-up Liz Forsyth, props Elaine Cavers, lead chaperone Pearl Mitchell and prompter Marion Pool.

This was very much another community pantomime which is what we like to see in the Muckle Toon.