It wouldn’t be Christmas without a trip to The Grand Opera House in Belfast to see a pantomine staring May McFettridge with her one liners and colourful outfits, this year was no exception. The Grand Opera House christmas pantomine is the biggest selling panto in Northern Ireland, they have already sold over 75,000 tickets for their Jack and the Beanstalk pantomime this year, so you need to get your tickets while you can.
This years christmas pantomine is Jack and the Beanstalk, the Pantomime you’ve BEAN waiting for! Just as I remembered it, but with a few comical twists along the way. Jack Trot sells the family’s beloved cow in exchange for some beans which May Trot disappointedly throws out the window. They wake up the next day to a huge beanstalk that reaches ‘Cloud Land’ where the evil giant is holding Jack’s love interest Princess Apricot hostage. Along with his hapless brother Simple Simon, the team embark on a mission to rescue the princess and defeat the giant so they can all live happily ever after.
The show has everything you would expect to see at a pantomine from the comedy, beautiful set, special effects to the fabulous costumes. This year they have added something different, Circus roller skaters which hasn’t been performed in theatres for years. Their fantastic performance from The Belfast Roller Rollers will have you gasping in fear and amazement while the duo perform some risky moves close to the edge of their podium.
May Mcfettridge who is in her 29th consectutive year of panto plays Jacks mother Dame May Trot was fantastic as always, engaging with the audience and having an answer for everything. The jokes come thick and fast, as do the puns, plenty to keep everyone laughing throughout the show. May Trots husband was played by Paddy Jenkins – Farmer paddy Trot, her long-suffering husband, who’s comedy timing and delivery has been perfected over the years.
David Bedella put on a great performance as the local baddie and the giants henchman, Fleshcreep with the audience booing everytime he appeared onstage.
Rikki Jay played Jacks younger brother Simon with his loveable character and over sized phone had was a massive hit with the kids. The question throughout the show was will he get the call he is waiting for? Will he get his happily every after too?
Georgia Lennon as Princess Apricot, Michael Pickering as Jack and Joanna O’Hare as Mother Nature, meant there was a very talented cast with some fantastic vocals.
The pantomine is EXCELLENT, the characters engaging and the jokes making the whole audience laugh, including lots of local references. From the second the curtain went up and the kids saw the set they were hooked! Special mention should also go to the special effects team, their efforts to make the giant more than just a pair of comedy legs is mind blowing – and without spoiling things too much, keep your eyes peeled for a real stand out moment just before the interval… Just how will May Trot reach the top of the Beanstalk??! AMAZING!
If you’re looking for a pantomine to see with kids of any age this Christmas, I highly recommend Jack and the Beanstalk and let the classic fairytale come to life on stage. It was a fantastic show with very talented cast members and great stage sets.
The show was enjoyed by everyone in the audience which ended as most fairytales do with Jack and Princess Apricot getting married.
Tickets were gifted but all views are my own.