There is nothing like a dame . . .

Jack and the Beanstalk

Belgrade Theatre, Coventry

*****

Oh! Iain Lauchlan! How did we ever think of doing without you? Obviously Iain adores playing the dame – Dame Trott – with sidekick Simple Simon (Craig Hollingsworth) and Daisy the Cow (Aaron Gibson and Macey Cherrett).

The plot wouldn’t rival Anna Karenina but who wants that? Evil Fleshcreep (William Finkenrath) factotum to the INCREDIBLE and very scary giant Blunderbore (Jamie Anderson) is out to steal the magic harp that is kept in the castle in the village of Prickly Bottom with pretty-as-a-picture Princess Poppy (Katriona Perrett) and her father the rather sleepy King (also Jamie Anderson).

 In Prickly Bottom Dairy live Dame Trott and her two boys, different as chalk and cheese; dreamer Simon and ambitious Jack (Alyssa Martyn). Jack is enamored of Pretty Princess Poppy and his chance comes to shine when Fleshcreep takes both harp and Princess to the lair of the giant.

Jack is charged with selling Daisy at the market and the frenetic Fairy Fennel (Clare Humphrey) exchanges cow for magic beans to Dame Trott’s disgust. She throws them into the well – well - you’ve worked out the rest.

The usual business is where it should be, the children dragooned into the show were amazing and possibly even more so was a little boy in the front row so engrossed, excited and enthralled by the show that he was in danger of having to turn professional!

The set is wonderful, songs are good and the lady next to me joined in ‘Sisters are doing it for themselves’ with great-voice gusto. There were probably four times as many adults as children but I love that the girls dress in their party frocks with plenty of bling. This show is hugely enjoyable, for the cast as well as us, and the giant is probably the most amazing spectacle – a really HUGE puppet with amazing basso profundo voice.

Written and directed by Iain Lauchlan this is the magic of misrule at its best. Iain – lovely stuff - another Coventry Corker! To 05-01-13.

Jane Howard 

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