A BRILLIANT show needs homegrown talent, energy and a sprinkle of fairydust.

All these Bridgwater Pantomime Society had a-plenty in their production of Jack and the Beanstalk, a super performance with no need for celebrities or sequin overkill.

Much-loved panto characters appeared – John Hancock made a very scary giant, with a suitably nasty sidekick in Richard J Porter (boo – hiss!) with designs on Daisy the Cow (mother and daughter team Nichola and Georgia Case). Keith and Margaret Robinson’s script and direction appealed directly to all ages in the audience, with plenty of truly awful jokes – oh, no they weren’t! – plus running gags, slapstick, music and dancing.

Some scenes were too long but overall the action moved swiftly. Musically, all credit to MD Ros Dolding and her orchestra of seven versatile players. Kimberley Pike as Jack sang movingly and Ashley Quinn and Jordan Hill as Duffy and Dippy showed real musical talent (even when doing pratfalls).

Darren Oxman as Simple Simon, another good voice, kept the energy level fizzing and Lindsey Stone made an engaging Fairy Fanny with excellent timing.

No pantomime would be complete without the Dame, played by experienced comic Keith Robinson, as cuddly, knowing and sexy by turns, and with some very effective deadpan asides to the audience.

Jo Elson as choreographer deserves applause for the excellent dancing, including a team of well-drilled junior dancers.

With so many youngsters on the stage alongside the senior chorus, and the audience loving every minute, the future of the society seems assured.


CAST: Giant Blunderbore – John Hancock, Barrington Black – Richard J. Porter, Jack – Kimberley Pike, Squire Skinflint – Ken Stone, Duffy – Ashley Quinn, Dippy – Jordan Hill, Simple Simon – Darren Oxman, Dame Stoneybroke – Keith Robinson, Daisy the Cow – Nichola and Georgia Case, Jill – Zoe Pike, Fanny the Fairy – Lindsey Stone, Butcher – Nathan Ball, Leader of the Guardian of the Clouds – Margaret Robinson, Dimple – Nathan Ball.