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Jack and the Beanstalk - January 2007

Barry Foster as  Lord Hardup Neville Greenhalgh as Widow Lovejoy Rebecca Molloy as the Good Fairy David Reynolds as Dr Who

Simon, Flip and Flop Members of the Cast Entry of the robots

Daisy (Andrea Farrow) and Giant Grindbones Roxy (Bonnie Wood) meets the Daleks The cast and the TARDIS

Jack (Rachel Woodier) and Roxy (Bonnie Wood)

Widow Lovejoy and Lord Hardup The cast

Click on the photographs above to open full size images from the pantomime

Thirty seven years ago pantomime became a traditional part of the Hethersett year.

This year’s village offering of Jack and the Beanstalk is surely the best yet. 

Hethersett Pantomime Group has managed to mix superb sets and costumes with both the traditional and futuristic for their 38th production. 

The latest offering transcends traditional panto. All the fun, slapstick and comedy are still there but parts of the show lean more towards musical theatre than pantomime. This all mixes together to give a wonderful variety show full of pace and colour and a long way from the inaugural production way back in 1970. 

This year writer and producer Duncan Pigg and Director Sarah Wright have pulled out all the stops to produce both a surreal and wacky off the wall product. 

The group combines better than ever with some very strong performances throughout the cast. 

Lloyd Parfitt is the quintessential chirpy chappy once again in his role as Simple Simon (who turns out to be a lot wiser than his name suggests). Lloyd has the ability to melt the audience with his ad libs and personality. 

The part of Jack is played with great charm by Rachel Woodier and, as with virtually every year, much of the laughter is injected by two Hethersett Pantomime veterans in Neville Greenhalgh as Widow Lovejoy and Barry Foster as Lord Hardup. Both have the ability to inter-act with the audience throughout the show and Widow Lovejoy’s costumes get more expansive as the evening progresses. 

Flip and Flop (Lewis Cook and Steve Bussey) inject Norfolk humour and Bonnie Wood  and Rebecca Molloy are delightful as Roxy and the Good Fairy. One of the stars of the show is the mechanical Giant Grindbones who looks menacing enough without being truly frightening. 

It may sound implausible but somehow the group manage to blend the traditional Jack story into the futuristic setting of Satell City with its robots, Daleks and even Dr Who, the latter played admirably by David Reynolds. 

Colin Wilson’s scenery has to be seen to be believed. He mixes village green scenes with stunning futuristic landscapes and the science fiction backdrop that opens the second half brought gasps of appreciation and a spontaneous round of applause from the audience. 

Much of the vaudeville aspect of the panto comes in the form of early scenes centred around a jazz festival which gives the producer and director the opportunity to celebrate their love of the musical genre. Far from detracting from the overall plot, the jazz festival element adds to the overall feel of a fine evening’s entertainment. It gives Sue Tuckwood the opportunity to weave in a jazz solo that suits her voice beautifully. 

Mention should also go to the five piece orchestra under the direction of local GP Tony Press. 

Those involved will be hard pressed to top this production next year. 

Each year the production raises money for good causes and a collection was made at the end of every show this year for the East Anglian Air Ambulance. Since 1970 over £49,000 has been donated from pantomime profits and bucket collections to various organisations and charities.

© Peter Steward 2007

Backstage

Script writer and producer Duncan Pigg
Director Sarah Wright
Musical Director Tony Press
Choreographer Andrea Farrow and Katherine Rowe
Stage Manager Malcolm Goldspink
Set Design and Painting Colin Wilson
Wardrobe Kim Spinks and team
Construction of Sets and Props Linda and Malcolm Goldspink, Irene and David Dack, David Neal, Tim Reynolds, Bob Fell
Technical Manager Chris Thrower
Stage Electrician David Dack
Sound Jonathan Thrower
Lighting Jonathan and Chris Thrower, David Johnson
Prompt Sarah Wyatt
Make-up Julie Cooke and helpers
Backstage Josh Hamer, Chris Goldspink, Phil Emery, Bob Fell
Production Assistant Jenny Pigg
Business Manager Frances Trappes-Lomax
Box Office Marie Stevenson
Front of House David and Jean Neal and helpers

The Band

Musical Director, Keyboard and Guitar Tony Press
Piano Roger Noble
Clarinet and Alto Sax Rachel Mallett
Cello Frances Trappes Lomax
Percussion Mark Baker/Paul Harrison

Cast

Jack Rachel Woodier
Simon Lloyd Parfitt
Widow Lovejoy Neville Greenhalgh
Roxy Bonnie Wood
Lord Hardup Barry Foster
Lady Hardup Vicki Gale
Good Fairy Rebecca Molloy
Flip Lewis Cook
Flop Steve Bussey
Ella Fitzjames Sue Tuckwood
Festival Manager Duncan Pigg
Mrs Bridges Sue Tuckwood
Daisy Andrea Farrow
Giant Grindbones Devon Boyd
Doctor Who David Reynolds
Villagers One and Two Emma and Becca Jermy
Clarabella the Cow Lauren Cooke and Chloe Spinks
Health and Safety Officer Becky Sprunt
Daleks Ellie Jermy and Jenny Pigg

Townsfolk, Robots and Dancers

Jonathan Ball Caroline Reynolds Kirstie Orford Naomi Larner
Lily Bussey Ellie Boyd Chloe Spinks Matt Molloy
Lauren Cooke Barry Butler Sarah Wright Barbara Powell
Emma Larkowsky Tina Greenhalgh June Bulcock Becky Sprunt
Rebekah Larner Joe Larkowsky Sandra Butler
Daniel Orford Tom Leek Ellie Jermy

Clarabella's Playmates

Nancy Bussey Caroline Lovick Jennifer Leek
Stephanie Leek Peter Emery Victoria Woodier
Sophie Cooke Bethany Tuckwood Elena Wyatt