11:32 | 19th February 2019

Reviews: Live Shows

Mon 9 Dec, 2013
By Robert Ingham

This is a wonderful panto, with... brilliant performances

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Jack Off The Beanstalk - Adult Panto

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Above The Stag theatre returns – bigger, bolder and brassier. After losing its home above The Stag pub in Victoria in 2012 and with a few appearances at other small venues around London, it is with absolute pleasure to bring the news that it has finally put its roots down under one of the railway arches in Vauxhall.

The first show at their new venue, which is still seeing some improvements, is their annual Adult Pantomime – this year being ‘Jack Off The Beanstalk’. Set in Upper Jumper, Yorkshire’s least tourist-friendly village, we meet Jack Trott and his brother Simon who are dreaming of falling in love with the boy/girl of their dream.

Their mum, Dame Trott, is at the end of her tether trying to find money to pay the rent and so sends Jack away to sell their cow, Kylie, which gets him a handful of beans and opens up the world above them. Hot on their tails is Lord Fleshcreep who wants to evict them and stage a festival on their farm. All while Cillian O’Connell, a sexy TV talent-show finalist, comes to town to hide from the press after a drugs scandal. But who falls for who and who will live happily ever after, especially when Fleshcreep’s niece arrives from London?

This is a wonderful panto, with some brilliant performances. Matthew Baldwin, who plays Dame Trott, excels as the terrifying mother who simultaneously channels Bette Davis and Joan Crawford. Ian Hallard as Lord Fleshcreep is deliciously camp, purring his way through as the perfect villain and reminiscent of what would happen if Derren Brown let his evil side out to play.

The rest of the cast fabulously laugh, joke and sing their way through the great script from Jon Bradfield and Martin Hooper, who have written several pantos for ATS. Whilst the cast aren’t all the most natural of singers, it is the energy and joy they put into their performances which ensures ‘Jack’ doesn’t lose its way.

There are groans-a-plenty in this innuendo-laden show, complete with musical numbers and jokes running close to the knuckle, but Above The Stag are back with a bang with a sure-fire hit on their hands – so much so that many of their performances are already sold-out. And rightly so, especially when it is brought to you in ‘Odour-drama’. Suffice to say that you will never have been immersed like this in a show before.

Best to get your tickets while you can as they are selling like hot-cakes. You won’t be disappointed. Welcome back ATS!

‘Jack Off The Beanstalk’ is on under railway arches in Vauxhall until 5th January. To buy tickets, click on the following link:


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