Melton Theatre pantomime review: ‘Jack and the Beanstalk a real Trevonne treat’ by John Hurton

Some of the main Trevonne cast of Jack and the Beanstalk 'PHOTO: Supplied
Some of the main Trevonne cast of Jack and the Beanstalk 'PHOTO: Supplied
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Can it be panto time again at Melton Theatre? “Oh yes it is!” was the resounding cry from the enthusiastic audience on Sunday afternoon as the talented cast of the Trevonne Stage School presented their 37th consecutive pantomime at the venue.

With over 200 pupils taking part, congratulations must go to producer, director and choreographer, Hayley Sessions for her creativity, sheer organisational skills and indubitable patience.

With a wide variety of ages and dance styles, it was no mean feat to put together such a slick show. Had it just been intended as a dance show, displaying the talents of all those involved, that would have been satisfying enough, but add in the fun of a professional-looking pantomime and the enjoyment was increased ten-fold.

It was plain from the outset that a lot of hard work had gone into the preparation and overall production and they should be very pleased that it all paid off so well.

In between the action the dance routines fitted seamlessly and everyone had their moment to shine, from the very youngest (who could not be awed by the troupe of tiny Rudolphs?) right up to the more mature ladies who obviously enjoyed their River dance tap routine.

In between, the girls and boys of the company did a fantastic job in a wide variety of dance styles ranging from classical ballet, through gymnastics to modern and tap, all displaying a high level of skill and commitment and all much appreciated by the audience, especially the colour coordinated finale – and what a difference it makes when they hold their heads up and smile!

Edward Bates made a dashing hero in Jack Trot (appropriately dashing off and then dashing on again after a quick change to take part in the dance routines) and was well-complimented by the lovely Eluned Banfield as Princess Eliza. I particularly liked Rachel Hall as Edna The Eco Fairy who’s duet with the excellent Zoe Elliott as the reformed Grizelda (a wickedly boo-hiss baddie) was a noteworthy highlight.

Trevor Makins played the much put-upon King Bernard with gusto and the reliable Mark Scott went from cowardly servant Bauldrick to terrifying Giant Blunderbore and back again with his usual aplomb.

One of the most overlooked characters in this story is the Trot’s faithful cow, in this instance called Buttercup. Pantomime “skin work” can actually be very difficult and getting it right can prove a challenge but Olivia Clifton and Lauren Freeman did an excellent job.

Of course, no panto would be complete without its liberal helpings of comedy and this was in the very safe hands of Wayne Hazeldine as Simple Simon. He teamed up with local favourite, the first-rate Stuart Scarborough as Dame Trot who created a great rapport with the audience and handled the classic routines with polish.

Overall, it is a lively fun-packed show full of amazing dance content and sheer talent and everyone involved should feel justifiably proud of their contribution, from those on stage to the undoubted unseen army of helpers, chaperones and quick-change assistants behind the scenes without whom a show like this would never function.

A triumph for Trevonne and a great way to kick off the seasonal festivities. If you want to see a pantomime this year, then you can’t go wrong with this!

l Tickets are still available for tonight’s and tomorrow night’s production at 7pm.

On Saturday, there is a matinee performance at 1pm and an evening show at 6pm, however, tickets are limited.

For ticket information call Melton Theatre box office on (01664) 851111.