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Review: Jack and the Beanstalk at the Grand Theatre in Wolverhampton

Well it’s that delightful time of year again when even the most dedicated culture vultures have the chance to stop being so posh, cosy up and start channelling their inner child – in other words, the fun starts here because it’s panto time again.

Oh no it isn’t? Oh yes it is!

Jack and the Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk

And up at Wolverhampton’s aptly named Grand Theatre some of our top Christmas favourites are putting all their powerful expertise to work in the welcome cause of cheering us all up at this darkest time of the year, and I have to report – it really, really works.

Because here a crack cast of favourites work seamlessly together to produce a heady mixture of new and old in this Jack and the Beanstalk.

X Factor star Gareth Gates is marvellous as Jack the lad himself while Emmerdale’s Lisa Riley charms effortlessly in the fairy godmother role as the cheery Mother Nature. Adam C Booth’s Simple Simon is a delightfully silly master of ceremonies, while Graham Cole never misses a hiss as the baddy Fleshcreep.

My old friend Ian Adams of course wins hands down in any dame competition, here as an effortlessly frothy Dame Trot.

But this panto also has a secret weapon in the form of David Tristram’s iconic dole-scrounger, the Black Country’s very own Doreen Tipton, Queen of the Yam Yams, whose refreshingly breezy selfishness and single-minded idleness gives this show a delightfully local extra edge.

Together this tried and tested team work seamlessly to make the whole evening one huge fun-filled show with the very best of seasonal silliness and plenty of audience participation plus some special effects to make the eyes pop.

If you want robust charm this Christmas with something for everyone old and young then this show is definitely for you.

I’d gladly see it again tomorrow, and I honestly wouldn’t swap a minute of it for a whole bag of magic beans.

Jack and The Beanstalk runs at Wolverhampton’s Grand Theatre until January 14.

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