Jack & His Giant Bigstalk

“A riotous, naughty Pantomime that promises laughter and leaves you with a smile"

I recently attended a performance of "Jack & His Giant Bigstalk" and let me tell you, this is not your typical family-friendly pantomime. This is a cheeky and downright naughty show, laden with adult jokes and liberal doses of swearing. Set in the function room of the Prince of Wales pub on Drury Lane, the sauciness of the performance is best enjoyed with a drink in hand and a group of friends ready to revel in raucous laughter.

The evening kicks off with the Director, Simon Gross, in full costume as Queen Genetalia, playfully engaging with the audience. His banter and humour set the tone for the night, training us to boo and shout out in ways that this reviewer hesitates to put into words. Monroe Adams, is Assistant Director/Choreographer and Fairy Barbie, further guides the audience with encouragement to cheer and boo at appropriate moments, effectively contributing to the narrative while adding a lot of sass.

Musical numbers punctuate the show, featuring familiar tunes like "Reach," "Thriller," "Bad Romance", "Barbie Girl" and more. Feel free to sing along, though be prepared for some tweaked lyrics. The talented cast brings these numbers to life, enhancing the overall entertainment.

Tom White as Dame Trott defies the conventional image of a middle-aged, overweight Dame. His portrayal, complemented by the imaginative costumes crafted by Katy Taylor and Misty Turnball, exudes the wit and charisma you'd find at a drag show. Grace Sheridan shines as Jill, particularly in a solo performance that displays her impressive vocal talent. I can't help but wish there had been more opportunities for her to showcase her singing abilities and range.

Joseph Greenwood, in the deadpan role of Daisy the Cow, adds a unique juxtaposition to the lively ensemble. Special mention goes to Paul Blackburn from Big Brother, who made a guest appearance as a second cow, adding a humorous touch to the proceedings.

For many in the cast, this production likely marks their West End debut, and they absolutely nailed it. Granted, performing in a small venue comes with its chaotic moments, like dance numbers nearly reaching the ceiling. The chaos, however, is embraced and taken to ludicrous heights when the entire cast gathers on stage for the panto classic, "If I was not in pantomime" – a spectacle I will leave to your imagination.

While the plot of the first act could benefit from a bit more pace, the combination of drinks, jokes, and good company ensures a fantastic night out. "Jack & His Giant Bigstalk" delivers on its promise of a riotous, adult-oriented pantomime that is as memorable as it is naughty. Cheers to a night of laughter and entertainment that is sure to leave you with a smile on your face!

This show was reviewed on the 11th December 2023.  Jack & His Giant Bigstalk runs at The Prince of Wales Pub, Drury Lane, London until the 22nd December 2023.  Tickets available here: Jack And His Giant Bigstalk !!!! at The Prince of Wales Drury Lane event tickets from TicketSource

Review written by Valentine Gale-Sides


Main Photo credit: Valentine Gale-Sides

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