“Truly a Giant Spectacle!“
***** 5 Stars
Following a tough two years post pandemic where the legendary London Palladium paid tribute to pantos past with Pantoland at the Palladium, the creative team that have given London’s west end a new golden age of pantomime return with brand new pantomime extravaganza, and its truly a Giant Spectacle!
2022 sees a return to full out bells and whistle panto at the Palladium with a gorgeous brand new set from Mark Walters that transports us from Argyll Street to the stars and rainbows of cloudland high above. The set sparkles under Ben Cracknell’s epic lighting design that not only brings out the best of the gorgeous set but also the stunning auditorium of the palladium.
For such a dream setting you need a dream cast and the regular palladium panto team are back in spectacular lead by Julian Clary as “Spirit of the Beans” with outrageously decedent costume design by Hugh Durrant, Clary is in terrific form! Ensuring he gets ever double entendre from the script as he keeps reappearing as every kind of bean it’s possible to have. Clary comedy judgement is faultless ensuring laugh out loud moments or both kids and adults alike.
Making her second Palladium panto appearance is Dawn French as “Dame Trot” who brings a Cornish twist to her dame who rules Thames by the twist with a warm heart and earn every penny for her massive tax bill which drives her back into Pantoland. Making her palladium panto debut is Alexandra Burke as “Mrs Blunderbore” wife of the giant, Burke gets the boos with ease but also the cheers with that magnificent voice.
Paul Zerdin and Puppet Sam are back with such a unique speciality act and the most surprising song sheet ever seen in panto. Gary Wilmot is returns in a frock as “Queen Nigella” and his “list” song ability is put to the ultimate test and its sublime. Beloved Nigel Havers also returns, and this time he actually has a role “King Nigel” but the usual stick is in full flow and its wonderful to see that Havers never takes things too seriously and is fully willing to send himself up.
Joining the regulars are Louis Gaunt as “Jack Trot”, Natalie McQueen as “Princess Jill” and darling of the west end Rob Madge as “Pat the Cow” the campest and funniest panto cow who successfully steals the show!. As if the principal cast wasn’t good enough they are joined by a 16 strong ensemble who deliver Karen Bruce full powered and stunning Choreography with ease.
Producer and Director Michael Harrison has created the most family friendly of the palladium pantos to date since they were revived in 2016 but ensures the magic and spectacle put the palladium as the best panto in the country. Supported by the boys at Twins FX you’re going to see the biggest beanstalk in all the land as it erupts from the stalls through the roof of the palladium itself. Harrison ensures spectacle is balanced with classic panto sketches’ and “if I were not in pantomime” and the “bogen by the sea” sing a long are tested and true.
The cherry on the cake is Musical Director and the Palladium orchestra delivering a full and rich musical accompaniment that guarantees a winning panto for all the family and to this Mike Coltman and Teresa Nalton’s dreamy costume design and you have a sure fire winner of a show!
While the story is there in the palladiums Jack and The Beanstalk it’s obvious its a variety spectacle on which the Palladium was built and it keeps the audiences coming back year on year and truly delivers value for money especially as the top seats come in at a hefty £150.
Michael Harrison has already confirmed panto will return to the palladium for Christmas 2023, you won’t find a better Jack and the Beanstalk anywhere else in the country this year which makes the journey to London let alone securing a ticket worth it! So what you waiting for? Head for the Palladium and the most magical of adventures!
Jack and The Beanstalk, The London Palladium, Runs until Sunday 15th January 2023 for tickets go to: Palladium Pantomime | Jack and the Beanstalk | The London Palladium