Jack and the Beanstalk – Mercury Theatre, Colchester
This Pantomime has heralded in the beginning of Christmas for many and as our first major panto of the season we were sure as always that we would not be disappointed. Indeed from the sparkling waistcoats worn by the Front of House Staff to the fantastic proscenium arch as we entered the auditorium it was just as amazing as we expected.
As always, the set as a whole was brilliant from the dairy inset to the magical beanstalk which rose skyward capturing the imagination for all the children in the audience. There was a great choice of music this year using contemporary hits, classics such as Bohemian Rhapsody and including A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman - which in our area of the auditorium was definitely a sing-along version!
Returning again for the Mercury Pantomime this year was Dale Superville as Day-Z the cow. Dale has the amazing ability to keep the audience in the palm of his handhoof both when getting them excited and buzzing and at the other end of the spectrum with his wonderful use of pathos. Alongside him for his fourth season was Antony Stuart-Hicks as Dotty Trott who is outstanding at keeping both adults and children entertained at different levels. He always looks stunning with some extraordinary costumes and some great gags and one liners.
We all loved the great rapport between them both, especially when you know they are going off the script but they still maintain such a high level of professionalism.
Ignatius Anthony as Fleshcreep, the Giants right hand man, was magnificently merciless, devilishly dastardly and cruelly corrupt, a great performance from him. Carli Norris as Fairy Gladys was light, bright and cheery with great warmth in her slightly eccentric characterisation making her the perfect contrast to Fleshcreep.
Craig Mather as Jack was lively and likeable, and Madeleine Lesley as Jill was both beautiful and charming but more credit to the both of them for making what could be bland roles into something far more interesting. Phil Sealey as King Nobert was jolly and bouncy and another perfect great cast member.
The Chorus were all very strong with some fabulous junior chorus members and these were particularly noticeable in the Star Wars themed scenes.
This was definitely the way to blow away the blues this Christmas and a great evenings entertainment.