Fee-fi-fo-fum... this year’s panto is a whole load of fun

The cast on stage during one of the excellent dance routines
The cast on stage during one of the excellent dance routines
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FEE-fi-fo-fum... watch out Preston here it comes!

So boomed out a monstrous voice over a packed Charter Theatre last night - and that can only mean one thing... panto season has returned to the city!

And this year’s production of Jack and the Beanstalk has all the magic to grow into a giant success.

Generations of families in the audience were left in little doubt about the quality of this year’s seasonal show - from the plentiful array of songs and dance routines to the comic gags, convincing sets and brilliantly crafted models.

The cast seemed to gel well together already. Phil Walker, star of last year’s production of Sleeping Beauty, returns with his affable, boyish, quick-witted charm.

Ian Good, Jack’s on-stage mum, plays a wickedly course panto dame, Dame Trott, whose childish sense of humour tickled younger (and many not so young) members of the audience. When his face mic broke down mid-sentence, this panto veteran just took it in his stride and finished the scene off to much success.

Prize for the best singing goes to Jack’s love interest, Jill, played by Charlotte Dalton.

Fleshcreep, the villain, was convincingly played by Marvyn Dickinson, who came across like the Child Catcher from Chitty Chitty Bang Bang but a bit camper, less creepy and with more charisma.

The biggest name on the bill is Linda Nolan.

She did an admirable job as the Fairy, and, without wishing to give away much of the ending, will certainly get you in the mood if not for a dance then at least to tap your foot a bit and even clap your hands

together.