Pantomime team pull out all the stops

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Ripponden Pantomime Company: Jack and the Beanstalk at Ripponden Conservative Club

A sparkling script, lively musical imput from John Wilson, witty, colourful sets and costumes, spectacular special effects and inspired, pacy direction from Tim Warburton together made for a thoroughly entertaining show.

Engagingly narrated by Lucy Brighton, this story of how, via some magic beans, Jack finally managed to escape from the Giant’s Castle to marry his Princess, releasing, en route, his Aunt Dottie, their cow Buttercup and their fellow villagers from the rapacious clutches of evil landlord Bert Ratchett had the little girl in front of me absolutely rivetted throughout.

There were some brilliant characterisations. Rebecca Bell was a confident, resourceful Jack, Paige Clayton a sweet, quite feisty Princess, and Charles Butterworth, in a succession of outrageous costumes, very droll as somewhat simpleminded Dottie, effortlessly managing to secure the audience’s support when she needed it. As Bert Ratchet, Shane Gough was wonderfully sinister and funny, ably aided and abetted by Joseph Crabtree as his gleeful sidekick.

Byron Wilson was terrific as the Giant, towering above everyone on his stilts, and Rob Green and Rose Helm were a very amusing pair as gormless Dim and Dum. Superbly attired, Ben Greaves and Sol Burns made the most of their roles as guards and comedian Callum Capper’s gags always got a laugh.

With dancers from the Abigail Warburton Stage School, this was a production that pulled out all the stops.

Julia Anderson