Larbert panto Jack & the Beanstalk is a success

A production that’s full of beans – that’s a great way to describe Larbert Amateur Operatic Society’s pantomime this year.

Larbert Amateur Operatic Society's Jack and the Beanstalk. Pic: Michael Gillen.
Larbert Amateur Operatic Society's Jack and the Beanstalk. Pic: Michael Gillen.

The company has once again managed to capture everything that’s required for a traditional family pantomime that’s suitable for all ages in the run up to the festive season.

Fun, laughs, boos, magic, wonderful costumes, a brilliant soundtrack full of well known hits and fantastic dance routines – it’s all there in Jack and the Beanstalk.

It’s definitely a winning formula that had the audience cheering, booing and shrieking throughout.

Dame Trot and Simon try to milk Daisy. Pic: Michael Gillen.

Daniel Baillie and Derek D Easton’s cracking script sees us join the action when times are hard in Pantoland and the Giant is draining the community of its food sources and wealth with the help of his evil henchman Fleshcreep (played by Daniel Baillie himself).

And things get worse as the villagers prepare for the Harvest Ball, with the demands increasing.

King Rollo (John Coe) doesn’t want trouble and agrees to pay but Jack (Claire Coyne taking on the principal boy role) stands up to the villain.

Jack’s mother, Dame Trot (Derek D Easton) is struggling to pay the bills and only has one cow, Daisy, left.

Pic: Michael Gillen

The increased demands means she is forced to sell the animal and on the way to the market Jack sells the cow to Fleshcreep for a bag of magical beans.

Princess Jill (played by Jennifer Brisbane), Jack’s love interest, is kidnapped by the dastardly Fleshcreep and taken to the Giant.

Jack must save the Princess and Daisy, and after Dame Trot angrily throws away the magical beans, the beanstalk that grows gives him the means to do just that.

Derek D Easton is marvellous as Dame Trot, strutting around in his glittery high heels, colourful costumes and outrageous wigs.

And sidekick Stewart Borthwick is hilarious as farmhand Simon, who builds a terrific rapport with the youngsters in the audience – “Hi Simon!”.

The comedy the pair bring to the show will have you in stitches. This year great support comes from John Coe as King Rollo, who gives in to the villain’s demands and Dale Henry, who takes on the role of Floral Fairy guiding the audience through the show.

Without giving too much away, keep an eye out for some hilarious scenes when she tries to cast spells and some familiar characters make an unexpected appearance!

A special mention must also be given to Yolande Borthwick and Jo Malik, who can be found inside Daisy – the fine pantomime cow that she is.

There are further laughs to be had from bumbling duo Guard 1 (Andrew Gibson) and Guard 2 (Kirsten McConnachie) who bring an element of silliness to the occasion.

This bright and colourful telling of Jack’s story has a strong chorus, who delight audiences with some upbeat, well known numbers accompanied by musical director Jan Cunningham and the band, that will have you dancing and singing along in your seats.

This is a giant of a production from Larbert Amateur Operatic Society and it’s a great night out – the perfect start to the festive season!

The cast:

Floral Fairy – Dale Henry; Fleshcreep – Daniel Baillie; Jack – Claire Coyne; Jill – Jennifer Brisbane; Simon – Stewart Borthwick; Dame Trot – Derek D Easton; Daisy the Cow – Yolande Borthwick & Jo Malik; King Rollo – John Coe; Guard 1 – Andrew Gibson; Guard 2 – Kirsten McConnachie; Golden Goose – Claire Campbell-Swan; Villagers – Christine Jenkins, Hannah Coutts, Chloe Hendry, Toni Burnett, Lorna Zanre, Jodie Gill, Emily Kidd, Karyn Russell, Gillian Maitland, Tristan Boyle, Lucy Andrew, Robyn Mckinnon, Yolande Borthwick, Christopher Duncan, Elaine Campbell-Swan, Misha May Landsman, Robbie Landsman, Keith Watson, Jillian Govan, Charlotte D’Alby, Annalissa Bailey, Jeanna Connell, Carole Fleming, Lynsey Craig, Jo Malik, Liz Wilson, Eve Mackenzie, Emma Reynolds.
Band: Piano – Jan Cunningham; Keyboard – Eddie McLennan; Bass Guitar – Iain Boulter; Guitar – Matthew Hannah; Drums & Percussion – Jack Wilson.