Our review of the Leamington Christmas pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk

Oliver Williams watched the show on its opening weekend. Performances take place at The Royal Spa Centre up to and including January 7.
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Jack and the Beanstalk was last staged as the Christmas pantomime at The Royal Spa Centre in 2015 and back then I said that the show had “a giant amount of heart and charm”.

Audiences treating themselves to this iteration will be pleased to see that the panto itself still has these features in abundance, but popular dame JP McCue – who could well have a statue of himself and his trusty sidekick Sean Dodds erected outside the venue in years to come – has co-wrote and directed a fresh spin on the classic tale to great effect.

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This version has a country and western vibe running through it with a line-dancing mashup and hits from Shania Twain and both Billy Ray Cyrus and his daughter Miley included.

Jack and the Beanstalk at The Royal Spa Centre in Leamington.Jack and the Beanstalk at The Royal Spa Centre in Leamington.
Jack and the Beanstalk at The Royal Spa Centre in Leamington.

As ever, McCue and Dodds almost have enough panache, chemistry and charisma to carry the show as a pair but they’re very well supported by a small but streamlined cast and the superb sets and animatronic pièce de résistance all combine to let this show climb to the heights beyond a small town panto to something that would not be out of place in a larger venue.

Not that we’d ever want JP or Sean to ever take their talents elsewhere.

We hope that, like the titular beanstalk, they’re now rooted in Leamington every December and that they want to continue taking Christmas pantomimes to new heights in the town for the foreseeable future.

For show times and tickets click here

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