REVIEW: Jack and the Beanstalk - The Hawth, Crawley

The cast of Jack and the Beanstalk at The Hawth, Crawley
The cast of Jack and the Beanstalk at The Hawth, Crawley

The Hawth Theatre and Evolution Productions have done it again with another fun-filled pantomime for all the family.

Jack and the Beanstalk has everything you want in a festive show - a horrible villain, a short man in a dress, a cow, topical references, audeince participation and spurious comedy sketches.

The Hawth has been lucky enought o have Stephen Mulhern for the previous two years so Steve McFadden (Eastenders’ Phil Mitchell) - who looks a lot like Ross Kemp doesn’t he?! - had some big shoes to step into.

But as the nasty Fleshcreep, McFadden shows there’s more to him than a gruff mechanic - he even does a great impression of Cheryl Fernandez-Versini.

He might not have the greatest singing voice - kind of like a Russell Crowe in Les Miserable impersonator - but he showed great comic timing and was able to poke a lot of fun at himself, like all panto stars should be able to.

McFadden may be the star but it’s Andrew Fettes almost steals the show from everyone else as Dame Trott with some outrageous costumes, comic timing, innuendo and great flirting with audience members.

Fettes and Dave Bibby (Billy Trott) made a great double act and had great fun with their ‘suprious comedy sketch’ involving a lot of magazine title puns. I wasn’t expecting a copy Gay Times to pop up in this panto!

CBeebies’ Rebecca Keatley had a lot of fun as Fairy Sugarsnap and Joe Ashman (Jack Trott) and Lucy Kane (Princess Mayflower) were likeable as the romantic leads.

But one thing you always get at The Hawth with Evolution Productions is a great sets and props and I think everyone was blown away when we finally meet the family of giants at the top of the beanstalk.

But I am not really the target market for the pantos so here are the views of the three children I was with.

Noah Dunford, aged 6, said: “My favourite bit was the cow and the when silly Billy had to stir the cream with his head.”

Holly Seager, aged 4, said: “I loved the princess singing and when I got shout at all the zombies.”

George Seager, aged 7, said: “It was really funny. loved the bit when Billy was mixing the cream with his head also when he was falling all over the place whilst on the ‘automated ice cream machine’!”

Jack and the Beanstalk is on until Sunday, January 3.

01293 553636 (Monday-Saturday 10am-6pm)


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