Last night saw the first performance of Jack & the Beanstalk, the 5As 2015 pantomime and what a show it proved to be.
With a debut writing role by the 5As' very own 21 year old David Davenport, it delivered comedy, singing and dancing from the moment it kicked off with a rendition of 'Happiness'. And it was happiness all the way through the next couple of hours for cast and audience alike.
David even had a cameo role as he received a deserved cheer as he took to the stage after the Fairy Godmother, played superbly by Cat Maddocks, objected to the script's description of her as an Old Hag.
The glory of all the 5As pantos is that they really do embrace all ages with the very young taking on the dancing and chorus roles and enjoying to the full possibly their very first steps on the theatrical boards, and perhaps their first step to an ever larger role in future productions.
Costumes are another highlight with Monique Hollinshead again making a major contribution. Daisy, the cow; the Beanstalk; and the Golden Goose were highlights of the show – especially seeing the goose actually laying the golden eggs, a piece of technical bravado, the details of which it's probably best not to know.
All the lead roles played their parts to the full with Evie Popovic as Jack, Gabriella Brewer as Jemima and Lesley Davenport as Jacks' mother, Mrs King all outstanding. Even the odd prompt to fellow performers – typical of first night nerves – was used to great comic effect particularly by the, dare we call them, older hands who have starred in many a panto over the years.
Technically, the show worked like a dream with the special effects, music and the simple yet effective set changes all adding up to yet another triumph for the whole production team. Indeed, the co-director is David Davenport's sister Erin.
If you haven't bought a ticket, get one soon. You will not regret it as this is a great community show. We understand Saturday night is already sold out – although it's always worth checking for returns – but there are still spaces for the Saturday matinee and Thursday and Friday nights' performances.
Tickets are priced at just £6 each and will be available on the door for tonight's performance at Audlem Public Hall and also from Margaret Scott on 01270 811743.
As always with a 5As show, you will be thoroughly entertained by a massive cast and experience a panto writing debut by a 21-year old – now that's something anyone would love on their CV – oh yes, they would!
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