Jack and the Beanstalk!

Onehunga Community House, 83 Selwyn St, Auckland

01/10/2012 - 06/10/2012

Production Details

Come on a magical adventure with Jack as he journeys up the beanstalk. This enchanting theatre production involves puppetry, engaging characters, live music, an interactive set and giants!

A perfect school holiday activity tailored for children who see theatre often or as a great first step for those who have never experienced the delight of a live theatre show before.

Jack and the beanstalk will charm adults and children alike. It has been devised with children aged 3 – 7 in mind.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Onehunga Community House, 83 Selwyn St, Onehunga
October 1st – 6th
Two shows daily: 10am and 1.30pm
$10 per ticket or $35 family/group of four 

Book at http://www.iticket.co.nz/events/2012/oct/jack-and-the-beanstalk or ph (09) 361 1000 (service fee applies) or pay cash at the door

Made with the support of Creative Communities and http://www.quickbrownbox.co.nz/

Design and costumes with the assistance of Siriporn Falcon-Grey (who also made the children's seating) 

People, puppets, participation, slapstick and a sense of the magical

Review by Sian Robertson 01st Oct 2012

Onehunga Community House provides a relaxed setting for parents and young children, with lots of cushions for the kids to sit on up the front. I would say it is particularly suited for 2-4 year-olds, but older ones will probably be entertained and younger ones seemed comfortable – it was an intimate and welcoming environment for the many tiny tots at the opening session.

The publicity material led me to imagine the whole thing would be done with puppets – it’s not, which is good because the actors bring plenty of life to the story. There are some puppets, e.g. birds flying through the clouds as Jack ascends, a giant butterfly … The giant is a huge (papier mache?) mask and clothed upper body looming from behind the battlements of his castle in the clouds, voiced by Robert Tripe, who also plays Jack’s mother, a butcher and a baker.

Devised with broad story-book strokes and a bit of rhyme and repetition, it’s easy for the young ones to follow. The great costumes and a simple but innovative set hold the kids in thrall. Parents won’t be too bored either – the acting is good and there’s a smattering of adult jokes that sail over the children’s heads. What’s more, the kids’ squeals of delight make it all worth it. Pantomimey participation keeps them in a state of anticipation (“No, Jack, don’t sell the cow for one cream bun!” and “Behind you! A beanstalk!”). At 45 minutes it’s a good length for tiny people.

The play is faithful to the original that we know and love, with a few tweaks and extra characters: Jack (Francis Mountjoy) resists the temptation to sell Daisy the cow for too little to a flamboyant Italian baker or to a cruel German butcher; eventually he meets a sorceress (Sarah Gallagher) who hypnotises him into accepting a handful of beans.

Then there’s the harp personified (Claire van Beek), who sings exquisitely but is dissatisfied with her indentured servitude and yearns to visit ‘the land below’. It is the goose (Sarah Gallagher) who helps Jack hide from and trick the giant, and then escapes with him.

I wondered how they would create the illusion of climbing up and down the beanstalk. The sprouting beanstalk is raised with invisible string, then the other end of it is draped along the ground between the seated children, who are asked by Jack to help climb up and down, with miming hand gestures.

They have managed the hard task of combining slapstick humour with a sense of the magical.


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