Jack and the Beanstalk Review (Darlington Hippodrome)

Jack and the Beanstalk Review (Darlington Hippodrome)

Jack and the Beanstalk - Darlington Hippodrome

There was enjoyment and magic beans galore as the fee-fi-fo-fun of “Jack and the Beanstalk” came to Darlington Hippodrome.

With “Strictly Come Dancing” head judge Shirley Ballas and dancer-turned-actor George Sampson at its helm, “Jack and the Beanstalk” was never going to be short on big dance numbers, and the cast certainly deliver with step-perfect choreography, brilliantly supported by the Joanne Banks Dancers.

The dance numbers come thick and fast, with the highlight being a showcase to kickstart the show’s significantly-stronger second act, featuring George’s iconic “Britain’s Got Talent” performance of “Singin’ In The Rain” and Shirley Ballas reminding audiences why she is known as “The Queen of Latin”.

The Qdos Entertainment pantomime is bursting with original tracks, including “Come To Darlo” and “Talk To The Animals”, although these prove to be quickly forgettable and lack the charm and magic of previous years’ efforts.

Shirley Ballas is the big name draw for “Jack and the Beanstalk”, and she certainly impresses, bringing an abundance of grace and elegance to her role as Mother Nature, while George Sampson is extremely likeable as Jack.

They are joined by Daniel Taylor as the delightfully creepy Fleshcreep, Iain Stuart Robertson as the eccentric Dame Trot and the down-right hilarious Phil Walker, who provides much of the production’s humour in his role as Simple Simon. Not forgetting Lauren Hall as Princess Apricot, whose spine-tingling vocals during her duet with George Sampson are a joy to witness.

The question on many people’s lips prior to the performance was “how will they bring Giant Blunderbore to life?”, and the creative team deserve huge credit for the brilliantly designed 10-foot-tall giant that moped around the stage – the peak of the production’s many dazzling special effects.

And it wouldn’t be a Christmas pantomime without the usual checklist of antics including “It’s Behind You” involving a giant rat, a tongue-twister (which gets the better of George Sampson), and a performance of“If I Were Not In Pantomime”, plus the usual booing, hissing and kissing.

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Summary

“Jack and the Beanstalk” is a giant production that provides fun for all the family this Christmas.

“Jack and the Beanstalk” is at Darlington Hippodrome from Friday, December 6th, 2019 to Sunday, January 5th, 2020.

Tickets can be purchased from the box office on 01325 405405 or through the website.