Thursday, 15 December 2011

Review 4

The Stage
"Nick Wilton’s Dame Trott is a comic delight, crowbarring in the innuendos
and keeping mums and dads chortling throughout."

By Matt Fancy

Chris Jarvis has become a fixture of the panto scene in Dorset and on the strength of Jack and the Beanstalk, he’ll be very welcome for many years to come.
His direction keeps the show springing along and his boundless energy and enthusiasm as Silly Billy ensure that the pace never drops when he’s onstage. Clearly a natural born entertainer, and very much at home at the Pavilion.

With a script littered with local references and sharp asides, this is very much a panto for the people of Bournemouth of all ages.

Debra Stephenson’s performance as Jack is a tour de force of energy, fun and, during one technical hiccup, inspired improvisation. The impressions that she’s known for come thick and fast to rapturous applause, especially a spot on Anne Robinson.

Brian Capron is a fiendishly devilish Fleshcreep, revelling in the boos and in a bizarre way - channelling Albert Finney - while the delightful Kate Weston is an adorable Fairy Bubbles.

Nick Wilton’s Dame Trott is a comic delight, crowbarring in the innuendos and keeping mums and dads chortling throughout.

Some elegant dancing, magnificent sets and a catchy score all add to the fun of a superb evening’s entertainment.

Review 3

Southern Daily Echo
"Nick Wilton probably claimed most laughs for his role as Dame Trott."

By Simon Carter
Sports Editor (?)

A loveable cow, men dressed as women, women dressed as men, corny jokes, slapstick routines involving ice cream, goodies and villains, plus the inevitable shouts of “It’s behind you!”.
Yes, pantomime season is here again.
And down at the Pavilion in Bournemouth they’ve just started putting on the superb Jack and the Beanstalk, which runs until early next month.
Beans means a whole lot of belly laughs in this lavish production which truly lives up to the pantomime as excellent family fun.

As always, the youngsters will love the interaction with the characters, the singing and dancing and the flurry of jokes which never let up.
But so much of the humour will only be fully understood by adults – witness numerous mentions of local ‘attractions’ such as the Imax, Wessex Way and the Boscombe Surf Reef.
Exceptionally well written, the script is also given a topical twist with references to the likes of Ed Miliband, George Osborne and even the Greek economy.
Bournemouth’s very own Chris Jarvis – the childrens’ TV star – plays the role of Silly Billy, brother to show hero Jack Trott (telly impressionist Debra Stevenson), while Nick Wilton probably claimed most laughs for his role as Dame Trott.

Former Corrie bad boy Brian Capron, is typecast in the role of villain Fleshcreep, henchman of the Giant, and he too plays his part fantastically well.
This was a great evening’s entertainment.
If you’ve already booked, you’ll have a great time. If you haven’t, book now.
As I would have said to the story’s star, that’s a real Christmas cracker, Jack.

Review 2

"Nick Wilton in the guise of Dame Trott, is superb – a really classy dame"

By Simon Cole

After last year’s hugely successful Cinderella, I had high hopes for UK Production’s 2011 Bournemouth pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk, which opened on 3 December at the town’s Pavilion Theatre, and runs until 2 January 2012.
The fact that I am slightly disappointed probably has everything to do with the material – Jack has never been a favourite panto of mine, perhaps lacking the magical qualities of Cinderella and some of the more spectacular elements of other seasonal offerings.

The cast certainly are faultless, and work very hard to inject plenty of Christmas cheer. CBeebies star and local lad Chris Jarvis - hopefully now a permanent fixture at the Bournemouth panto - is good value as always; his natural charm and warm, cheeky personality enchants the audience young and old.Also directing the show Chris in his role as Silly Billy brings much of the comedy and keeps the story flowing at a fare pace. Debra Stephenson’s quick fire impressions makes Jack lots of fun too, and Brian Capron makes a text book panto villain, as the Giant’s evil henchman Fleshcreep.
Nick Wilton in the guise of Dame Trott, is superb – a really classy dame - and Kate Weston (Fairy Bubbles), Marcus Knibbs (The King) and Rebecca Marks (Princess) provide excellent support.

The sets and costumes are eye-catching and in most parts hit the spot – although the beanstalk itself is a little underwhelming, and the giant less “Harry Potter” and more ‘It’s a Knockout’ – but you can’t go wrong with Daisy – a first class cow if ever I saw one!
Full of topical and fruity gags to please the adults – including plenty of crowd pleasing local references – and all the traditional elements to amuse and bedazzle the kiddies, Jack and the Bean stalk is set to be another sure-fire winner for the festive season.

Review 1

Bournemouth Echo

IT'S as much a part of Christmas as turkey and tinsel - a good pantomime is the perfect way to forget the stresses of shopping and kick-start that festive feeling.
And thankfully this version of Jack and the Beanstalk is a real Christmas cracker that even Ebeneezer Scrooge would be unable to resist.

It contains everything a traditional pantomime should – a brave hero to cheer, a dastardly villain to boo, a hefty dose of slapstick for the kids and enough innuendo to keep the accompanying adults amused.
Much of its success is down to a great cast, led superbly by Cbeebies star Chris Jarvis, Bad Girls actress Debra Stephenson and former Coronation Street baddie Brian Capron.
Chris says he loves performing in his home town, and it shows. As Jack's brother Silly Billy he is cheeky, charming and deliciously camp and his local knowledge is spot on – the Imax, surf reef, Castlepoint and Dave Wells are among the many targets of his gags.
He's perfectly matched by Debra, who makes a good Jack but is an even better impressionist. Her quick-fire imitations of, amongst others, Cheryl Cole, Davina McCall, Hilary Devey, Lorraine Kelly and Katie Price are a real highlight of the show – sadly wasted on the children but a real treat for the parents.

Crucially, given the young age of the audience, the panto rattles along at a cracking pace, with constant jokes that more often than not hit the mark. This is a show that sparkles like the fairy lights on a Christmas tree.

Sunday, 11 December 2011


A week into the run. All going well. Some great houses and a lot of fun.
Apologies for lack of activity on the blog, but I'm trying to get my Christmas cards out.
Costume photos, reviews, and panto gossip to follow soon.

Sunday, 4 December 2011

Over the top!

We went over the top 2.30pm yesterday afternoon. A great first show and a fantastic audience. Another good show at 7.00pm. Only one show today and a day off tomorrow - looking forward to that; think we might go and see "My Week with Marilyn" in the evening.

I had an email asking what our rehearsal schedule was so here we go:
We started rehearsing on Mon 21st for 8 days (with Sun 27th off); One and a half days for the technical rehearsal then an afternoon for sound and band (on Thursday 1st); First dress rehearsal (Tech/Dress) in the evening; Friday - work bits, second (Full) Dress and any tidying up; First show Saturday (3rd December) at 2.30pm. 
Extremely rare photo of Director, Chris Jarvis, giving notes after second dress rehearsal.