Giant Terrorises A Small Community In Shrewsbury.

Jack and the Beanstalk
Theatre Severn

The auditorium literally bristled with hyper excited children finding everything just so very thrilling. It’s a great time at school, it’s the end of the term and they know Santa is doing his final checks so naturally with an air of explosive anticipation the curtain rose to take us all on a mystical adventure with laughter and fun all the way.

This year it was Jack and the Beanstalk. With help from the lavish props and scenery it was easy for everyone to settle back, suspend their disbelieve and be led through a land of magic and true traditional theatre.

Not everyone is a fan of this genre but everyone who was there tonight certainly was, as the “behind you”s the “oh no he didn’t”s and the “oh yes he did”s raised the roof of Shrewsbury’s wonderful showcase theatre.

Enjoyment is infectious and with the brilliant timing, the actors weaving their way so superbly through a very demanding script, everyone was raised on a wave of delight as Shrewsbury’s Theatre Severn once more delivered the goods with a stunning end of year romp through one of the oldest art forms in British Theatre.

The rules or conventions in Panto are extremely important as without them there really wouldn’t be a show. So with the usual flutter of transgendered mothers, the boy always getting the girl, good triumphing over evil and the humbling attrition shown by the evil forces,  we were shown what  forms this once mystical and garish art-form. Pantomime.

So slickly the one-liners kept coming, so naturally and brilliantly delivered. To watch Brad Fitt’s Dame Trott doing what he/she does so well is a master-class in pantomimic brilliance. He/she deserves a medal. To watch his timing, his handling of situations, his characterisation and to witness his pure talent is a treat that, for the next six weeks will be there every night putting the icing on what is already a beautifully baked cake.

BBC Radio Shropshire’s breakfast man Eric Smith needs a special mention too as this year he celebrates his tenth year in Pantomime. His experience showed as King Eric, as he was known, kept the story line on track and won the hearts of the audience as the hapless king.

This is top drawer entertainment, this is what Shrewsbury wants. It’s been a tough year for so many and a bit of a laugh as it fades away towards a new set of twelve months is a good way to end it.

To play pantomimic comedy it is essential that everything works and the whole theatre is in sync. The scene changes, the lighting and sound all have to work together to create the magic. The double-entendres, the Dame, The pantomime cow, the magic beanstalk are all there to make this a show for all the family.

If you can get there do, to those with fears or worries that it just isn’t them I would seriously advise you to leave your grumpy self at home and go and see that in this ever increasingly fast and hi tech life of ours, the simplest things can still make us hoot with laughter. It’s what we as a species like to do and of course it marks us out from the animals.

And now as I finish this review I am looking for my coffee, oh where did I put it? I know, I remember, IT’S BEHIND ME! Well done all!

This is a five star review.

Owen Lewis


Owen Lewis Owen Lewis

Owen Lewis was born fifty something years ago in the land of the black puddings. For the geographically challenged that is in Lancashire. Moving to Shropshire From 1970 Owen was brought up in Church Stretton. His first real job was in radio. After starting on BBC Radio Shropshire he became known on Marcher Sound, broadcasting throughout the North West for several years. After a university degree course in Theatre, Owen became an actor and went on to play "Pirate Bill" in The Alton Towers Hotel. He also made several television appearances. Returning to university he took his PGCE enabling him to teach. That saw him on the Essex coast as a drama teacher and latterly as a Creative Educational Liaison Officer making films and creating new teaching methods to employ on children in need of more help in their fundamental learning skills. Published playwright Owen ultimately wants a house boat in Amsterdam to focus on his work as Playwright and Poet. Follow hos blogspot at

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