Reviews are coming in for the Lyric Hammersmith’s annual panto – this year Jack and the Beanstalk.
Directed by Nicholai La Barrie, the panto is running to 7 January 2023 at the Lyric Hammersmith, and stars Emmanuel Akwafo as Dame Trott, Maddison Bulleyment as Jill, Jodie Jacobs as Fleshcreep, Leah St Luce as Jack and Finlay McGuigan as Simon.
Jack and the Beanstalk is written by Jude Christian and Sonia Jalaly, with Set and Costumes by Good Teeth, Choreography by Arielle Smith, Lighting Design by Elliot Griggs, the Composer and Arranger is Corin Buckeridge, Sound Design is by Nick Manning, the Musical Director is Adam Gerber, the Casting Director is Lotte Hines CDG, the Casting Assistant is Lilly Mackie, the Associate Sound Designer is Jet Sharp, and the Assistant Director is Tyler Holland.
More reviews to follow.
Jack and the Beanstalk reviews
"A zesty mix of giants, Titanic and Greggs sausage rolls"
"The Lyric Hammersmith’s panto is a slick, gag-rich affair, heavy on the jolly set-pieces and pleasantly light on the political asides"
"Happily for the Lyric, Nicholai La Barrie’s production is a triumph, filtering Jack’s rags-to-riches story through a street carnival-meets-acid house aesthetic, all set to a sound-clash soundtrack (Titanic, Whitney Houston and rap)."
"There’s a stand-out star turn from Emmanuel Akwafo’s Dame Trott, who first appears dressed as a milkshake and combines smelling-salts fragility with an X-rated leer; she repeatedly steals the limelight from her thoroughly neglected son Simon, the kinetic Finlay McGuigan (who spends most of the production fruitlessly trying to stage a magic show)."
"The ticker tape and fake snow are easy ways into audience hearts, yet here they’re both fully-earned parts of a joyous whole. There’s a cost-of-living crisis out there, but you’d never know it at the Lyric panto – and that’s precisely why it’s worth a trip."
"Emmanuel Akwafo brings the house down"
"Entertaining and appropriately defiant pantomime that puts community at its heart"
"Christian and Jalaly’s book plays fast and loose with beanstalk mythology, adapting aspects of the story to suit their off-beat innovations. Political gags are few – as a wry, early joke points out, the government’s policies and behaviour are no laughing matter – but this is clearly a fairytale designed to make people sit up and take note. It’s also extremely funny, accompanied by some fantastic, over-the-top performances and Arielle Smith’s dynamic choreography."
"Central to the success of any pantomime is a strong dame, and Emmanuel Akwafo is a triumph. Outrageously self-centred and garishly costumed, Akwafo is utterly adorable as Dame Trott, especially when in diva mode."
"Pun-filled, udderly brilliant panto"
"This Jack and the Beanstalk is a sequin-clad riot of kick-ass choreography, streetwise silliness and jokes about everything from Boris Johnson’s golden wallpaper to Schrödinger’s cat."
"The Lyric has a reputation for pantos that are as hip as they are hilarious, and Jude Christian and Sonia Jalaly’s script nicely fuses the kind of humour that makes tots squeal with laughter with savvy storytelling for adults."
"Nicholai La Barrie, associate director of the Lyric, directs, deftly balancing all the elements of panto so that it feels enjoyably quirky rather than formulaic. Good Teeth’s set and costume design are filled with ingenious flourishes, including a flying cow, the obligatory fake snow and a Minecraft-style giant."
"Sumptuously OTT panto has a big heart"
"A streetwise Jack sells his cow for a tin of baked beans in this sugar rush of a show, which is underpinned with an anti-greed moral about the collective good"
"Your ears will ring, your heart will sing. Not for the Lyric the genial unfolding of a well-loved folk tale with added knockabout business and the odd show-stopping set piece. This loud, front-foot Jack and the Beanstalk is nine-tenths set piece; a production, by Nicholai La Barrie, machine-tooled for uplift. Who needs interval ice creams? The show is all sugar rush."
"By uniting the whole theatre in good cheer, this Jack and the Beanstalk doesn’t just talk the talk, it walks the walk."