Jack and the Beanstalk at Stoke’s Regent Theatre is an immersive journey into the heart of festive enchantment. Made for both adults and kids, this is yet another hit pantomime for the Regent. Jonny Wilkes, in his remarkable 19th Regent Theatre panto, took on the role of Jack with his trademark infectious energy that breathed new life into the character. His performance was a delightful blend of charm, humour, and genuine enthusiasm, making this rendition of Jack and the Beanstalk stand out as a true spectacle.
The supporting cast elevated the production to new heights. Kai Owen’s return as Jack’s dad, Farmer Trot, was a nostalgic nod for Regent regulars, infusing the performance with a warm and familiar touch. Noel Sullivan, embodying the role of Fleshcreep, showcased his versatility as an entertainer, seamlessly transitioning from his pop star background to delivering a captivatingly villainous performance that had the audience playfully booing.
The incorporation of a 3D giant was a stroke of brilliance. The visual effects were nothing short of magical, transporting the audience into the heart of the story. The Regent Theatre’s commitment to pushing boundaries and embracing innovative technology was evident, providing a truly immersive experience that captivated both young and old.
Local humour played a pivotal role, with clever jokes about Stoke-on-Trent skillfully woven into the script. These moments of levity not only showcased a thoughtful understanding of the audience but also added a delightful layer of community connection.
The lighting design was a star in its own right. The transitions between scenes were flawlessly executed, and the vibrant colour palette enhanced the overall visual spectacle. The meticulous attention to lighting details underscored the Regent Theatre’s dedication to creating an engaging and visually stunning production.
Rio Maye, a recent Wilkes Academy graduate, brought a fresh and vibrant energy to her role as the Spirit of the Beans. Michelle Andrews, fresh from touring with Anton and Giovanni, dazzled as Princess Jill, delivering a West End-worthy performance that added an extra layer of sophistication and vocal excellence to the production.
In summary, Jack and the Beanstalk at Stoke’s Regent Theatre is not just a panto; it’s a theatrical extravaganza that seamlessly blends tradition with innovation. From the stellar cast to the imaginative use of technology, coupled with locally infused humour and brilliant lighting, every element coalesces to create an unforgettable holiday experience. This production does the British tradition of pantomime proud, delighting every member of the audience. It’s a celebration of the magic of theatre, leaving the audience with a sense of joy and wonder that lingers long after the final curtain falls.
Jack and the Beanstalk plays at the Regent Theatre until Sunday 7th January 2024. Tickets available here.
Photography throughout from Clara Lou Photography