Pantomime returns with Jack and the Beanstalk….

Production Team:

Director Peter Whitley & Judith Chapman
Musical Director Geoff Garrett
Choreographer Judith Chapman
Stage Director Colin Mitchell
Stage Management Diane and Andrew Jackson
Wardrobe Sarah Hibbert & Team
Lighting Mark Remde & Team
Sound Oliver Trenouth
Box Office Tim & Rachel Burnley

The long awaited return of Pantomime to Keighley was a huge success! KMTC had missed two years of pantomime due to ongoing Covid restrictions, but bounced back with the lavish production our audiences are familiar with.

Jack and the Beanstalk was the Company’s first pantomime back in 1965, and was therefore a good choice after an absense from the stage.

Playing Jack was Harvey Dewhirst, who also played Pugsley in The Addams Family and previously The Artful Dodger in Oliver. Alice Chapman was Principle girl Sue. The fun – and mess – was provided by Dean Harness as delightful Dame Trot and James Windle as Jimmy Trot. Stephanie Laycock sprinkled the fairy magic. Our Scottish Giant was assisted by Bloodshot and Squint, played by Sarah Chapman and Leah Ogrizovic.

Our talented ensemble and a delightful kiddies chorus (The Beanies) and the whole team brightened up the the start to 2023 with laughter, great music, fabulous costumes, amazing sets and spectacular effects.

Jack Harvey Dewhurst
Sue Alice Chapman
Dame Trot Dean Harness
Jimmy Trot James Windle
Bertie Sarah Chapman
Sammie Leah Ogrizovic
Fairy Steph Laycock
Squire Peter Whitley
Voice of Giant Sam Higgins
Beanies Alfie Blacka, Betty Major, Darcy Mason, Hariette Stretch, Isobella Smith, Jacob Troake, Lily Troake, Niamh Bray, Ruby Cunningham, Scarlett Sutcliffe
Ensemble Amy Tallant, Andrew Akhurst, Bethany Holmes, Daniel Morton, Emily Starr, Eva Kitching, Kylan Granger, Maggie Flaharty, Maisy Harness, Molly Sharples, Paula Lawler, Pheonix Bass, Savannah Shimmin, Scarlett Hodgson, Scarlett Morris

Keighley MTC pulled out all the stops with their traditional family pantomime – Jack and the Beanstalk.  It’s 3 years since their last panto, and they certainly brought entertainment and joy in abundance to Keighley’s Victoria Hall with their “comeback” show.

 With fabulous scenery, props, excellent costumes and well-cast principals once again this company certainly brought out the best of the story line of Keith Marsden and Geoffrey Rundle’s script. The whole audience went wild and really enjoyed the panto the night I was there.

 In the title role as Jack Trott was Harvey Dewhurst, fresh from recently playing Pugsley in The Addams Family last October.  Harvey was truly at ease in this part – he had the audience eating out of his hand.  He has great stage presence and sings and dances with ease and confidence.  This young man has a bright future ahead of him!

 Jack falls in love with Sue (the Squire’s daughter) – wonderfully played by Alice Chapman.  This is Alice’s first time as principal girl, and she absolutely nailed it. Her musical numbers with Jack and the ensemble and beanies were delivered with confidence and ease.

 Jack’s loveable mother and brother duo Dame Trott and Jimmy Trott were brilliantly played by Dean Harness and James Windle.  They make a dynamic comedy duo – with excellent comedy timing, and never once trying to upstage the other.  A perfect team!

 Squire Grabbem (Sue’s dad) was superbly played by Peter Whitley.  Perfect comedy timing, excellent delivery in an “Arkwright” style (think “Open All Hours”!) gave the audience a lot of “LOL” moments!

 Fairy Starlight, beautifully played by Stephanie Laycock, had excellent diction and her story telling came across with ease.

 The “baddy” comedy duo – Bertina Bloodshot and Sammy Squint – played by Sarah Chapman and Leah Ogrizovic – had some extremely comedic lines, which were delivered with confidence.  Superb facial expressions and some great “moves” from this duo had the audience in stitches (amongst the boos and hisses!).

 I think everyone’s favourite in this panto was Jessie the tap dancing cow – excellently played by Emily Starr and Amy Tallant.  Jessie never put a foot wrong, and the “milking” scene was extremely cleverly devised.

 And lastly, but by no means least – the Giant!  What a character he turned out to be – with a menacing voice, but what a mover!  It can’t be easy get on and off stage, and then back on again dressed in that costume! 

 This panto was packed with every element a traditional panto should have – the cast had the audience in a frenzy with their “responses” – boos, hisses, cheers, oh no it isn’t, oh yes it is, it’s behind you!!!!  Just exactly how a pantomime audience should react when the action on stage is delivered as brilliantly as it was!

 There were excellent special effects throughout – the “dishwasher” scene with Dame Trott, Jimmy and the Squire was hilarious, and had the audience rolling round in their seats with laughter! 

 The whole company were clearly well drilled and enjoying their performance.  Slick dance routines by Judith Chapman came to life through the whole show.  It was good to see the whole cast involved in the choreography – a total “team effort”, not just dancers and chorus.

 Many congratulations to Geoff Garrett (Musical Director) and his band.  Musical numbers were up tempo and complimented the story line. 

 Excellent support from the tec team too – superb sound (and effects) by Oli Trenouth , many slick scene changes by the crew and great lighting effects to add to the story.

 Peter, Judith & Geoff – you must be very proud of your cast and crew.  Thank you for the return of your fabulous traditional pantomime.  Can’t wait to see what comes our way in 2024!

Sally Holmes

Noda Representative