Hamilton Gardens, Medici Court, Hamilton

14/02/2015 - 22/02/2015

Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival 2015

Production Details

Jack’s Mum and Aunt have a penchant for collecting exotic animals … Their recent acquisition, a camel, is not working out so Jack must take it to the local market to sell… he comes back with beans!

Join us for this bubbly festival pantomime for all!

Where: Medici Court

When: Sat 14 Feb 2015
Time: 10am & 2pm

When: Sat 21 & Sun 22 Feb 2015
Time: 10am & 2pm

Tickets: Entry by Gold Coin 

Menagerie adds to the fun

Review by Gail Pittaway 16th Feb 2015

A ‘Stories and More’ pantomime show is now a well-established feature of the Hamilton Gardens Arts Festival, with quirky interpretations of well-known stories and casts ranging widely in age and stage experience. This retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk is no exception, with delightful small twists on the original.

Jack (here well-played by a girl-as-pantomime-boy, of course!) lives with his Mum and Aunty (two pantomime Dames kitted out in high heels and garden party froufrou) who keep a menagerie of exotic beasts and fowl.

The menagerie includes a camel which unfortunately needs to go to market to be on-sold as it is too expensive to keep. When a mysterious woman called Sybil offers Jack three magic beans for the camel he realises it is the best offer he’s had all day, well the only offer he’s had, and takes them in an unfair exchange; although she predicts that he will not regret the purchase.

The production uses the Medici Court setting perfectly, with the beanstalk ingeniously growing up a ladder that leads to the Italian Garden’s porticoed balcony on the next level and a pretty market scene, with umbrellas and bunting quickly erected.

The giant is large in build but with the sweetest singing voice – more of an Oscar Wilde Selfish Giant, although he flicks into the ogre role pretty effectively too – to the alarm of some tiny tots. The pantomime camel is a crowd pleaser, along with the unexpected addition of a camel trainer who’s been captured by the giant, but wants to return to tending his camel before he gets eaten. 

The most hilarious part is that of the golden goose who, though her only line is “Honk”, manages to wring a wide spectrum of meanings out of it – from alarm to flirtation and then into the fine trick of actually laying golden eggs on stage! Surprises continue even to the end with a gaggle of goslings almost stealing the show. 

It’s great to see so many children performing so well, with the large group of very young extras all written into the tale, and more experienced performers to guide the story along.  Unfortunately on a hot day with a large crowd of some very young and restless members of the audience, audibility is a problem, even for some of the veterans, and some stronger voice projection is needed all round.


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