Tue 15 Apr
Treat the family to the hilarious Roses pantomime that sees thousands of mums, dads grandparents and children flock to the theatre every year!
The wicked Giant Blunderbore is terrorising the land and poor Jack and his Mum have hit hard times. The only way to make ends meet is to sell their beloved cow Daisy – but by the time Jack gets home from market, the golden coins he got have turned to worthless beans…
But this is where the magic starts!
The Roses pantomime promises laughter and spectacle by the lorryload, with slapstick and songs galore - and an amazing fourteen foot, walking, talking animatronic giant which will have you pinned to your seat!
Book now for the funniest, most entertaining panto of them all!
Run time: Approximately 2hrs 15mins (including interval)
Click here to see our online Advent Calendar, full of panto facts, jokes and more! It will be updated every day during advent so check back often to make sure you don't miss out.
For more information on Director Ben Crocker, visit his website at www.bencrockerpantomimes.com
Gloucestershire Echo - Andy Merrell
In the programme notes for Jack and the Beanstalk at The Roses, Tewkesbury, Deborah Rees, director of the theatre, points out that the Christmas pantomime is often a child’s first introduction to the theatre.
If you think what kind of a world that could open up for the rest of their lives then how important that the first experience is fun and remains in their minds for a long, long time?
With the Ben Crocker written and directed pantomime, The Roses has the show to do just that.
When we turned up for the opening night it was a sell-out and we were turned away, disappointed. Our second attempt a week later turned out to be worth the wait.
The re-telling of the classic children’s favourite is fresh enough to keep even the grandparents interested, and they have been familiar with the story for longer than they care to remember.
The grandfather next to us enjoyed the jokes for the children and the guffaws to be had for the adult audience present and the classic sea-side slapstick which makes this peculiar British phenomenon such a kick.
Philip Andrew did enough to terrify and charm as the giant’s evil sidekick, Slimeball – a particular favourite with our two children.
Despite this thoroughly enjoyable performance, Noel White, as Dame Trott – the panto dame – stole the show. He revelled in his role. If you could call someone’s wardrobe a star of the show as well, it was Dame Trott’s.
If you go to see the show you will never have seen anything quite like his/her finale. Truly good bad taste.
But we digress. All of the cast – Kali Peacock, as Edena the ‘good’ eco fair, Flunkit – the King’s servant, and the voice of the thrilling giant, Elizabeth Christensen as Jack, Millie Booth as Princess Demelza, Joe Hall as King Bertram and Charlie Haskins as the amusing and entertaining Simple Simon - helped spread the spell over the packed theatre.
Special mention to the chorus. Every year the theatre hold auditions for young people aged eight to 16. The chorus sang, danced and acted their hearts out and looked like they loved their time in the spotlight.
Tewkesbury has many architectural gems, The Roses will never be one, but in the theatre, those who support and run it, they have a diamond.
Radio Winchcombe - Tim Montague
Tewkesbury’s The Roses theatre guarantees you an extremely fun and eventful afternoon or evening if you get the opportunity to see this year’s pantomime, Jack And The Beanstalk. The entire family will be laughing along with the merry antics occurring on stage.
With an abundance of audience interaction, writer and director Ben Crocker has developed very colourful characters in his rendition of this traditional pantomime, all of which animatedly engage the spectating youngsters, and some adults too when Noel White as Jack’s mother, Dame Trott gets his… sorry, her… way! There are plenty of visual and vocal jokes for all generations, some of which may make you blush with their euphemisms and occasionally making fun of recent news topics and stories. Community spirit is always a magical ingredient in panto, celebrating birthdays and schools or clubs helps build the excitement for the kids, and White’s Dame is the perfect ambassador for this element of the show.
Both adults and kids alike though will be in awe when the Giant makes his inevitable appearance… Throughout the show his physical presence is hidden, except for his fearsome and booming voice (provided by the extremely versatile Kali Peacock), but he is eventually revealed to the wonderment of the audience. Yes the Giant is the “big bad” of this panto (oh yes he is!), but it is Philip Andrew’s character Slimeball, who really encourages the boos and hisses. Andrew relishes being an evil villain, and is a fantastic contrast to Peacock’s consistently rhyming Eco-Fairy, both also serving as narrators to the piece.
Charlie Haskins as Simple Simon and White’s Dame, are the comic duo and soul of the production in amongst the storytelling, with an occasional appearance from Daisy the cow to milk-shake things up a bit. Kali Peacock also plays Flunkit, the servant to Joe Hall’s King Bertram, and when they join forces with Haskins and White on stage, mayhem ensues! This sometimes leads to the extra delight of the audience when the actors almost break character and laugh at themselves, all in the spirit of pantomime.
Love interest Princess Demelza is played by Millie Booth, her warm smile melting the heart of the hero, Jack Trott, played by Elizabeth Christensen, and possibly some of the audience too! Christensen is highly energetic and gives a terrific performance as the young lad Jack, throwing her all into every moment on stage.
Amongst Andy Allpass’ inventive arrangements of popular tunes and musical numbers, towards the end of the first act the Beanstalk is given its own song! Little Shop of Horrors’ “Feed Me” by Alan Menken and Howard Ashman, gets some lyric alterations and becomes a dance number, and in homage to the infamous Audrey II, the familiar puppet has been cast as the title plant in this panto. The Beanstalk comes alive with flailing tendrils and singing from its gaping maw (although minus the teeth), the stage becomes dark as night and an inspired use of fluorescents are accentuated by UV, which eerily gives complete focus to the growing stalk and the singing vegetation that surround it. There’s a “blink-and-you’ll-miss-it” surprise for the very end of the number too before the stage is lit once more.
All in all, the pantomime formula is complete in this production of Jack And The Beanstalk. Following a British tradition in theatre in celebrating the festive season, the adventures of Jack Trott brings laughter, energy and enchantment to an audience of all ages!
Evesham Journal/ Tewkesbury Admag Online - David Wood
When a pantomime includes an incredible 14-foot tall giant singing Led Zeppelin's Whole Lotta Love and also features a medley of Muppet songs and ends with an uplifting song from Grease, it's fair to say it caters for all tastes.
Everyone associates pantos with children, but while Jack and the Beanstalk - this year's seasonal offering at The Roses in Tewkesbury - had eager youngsters dancing with delight at the front of the auditorium, I can't believe there were many adults in the audience who didn't thoroughly enjoy it too.
Writer and director Ben Crocker has produced a very well scripted and highly amusing show. Sure, there was the fair share of the corny jokes you always expect at a panto - when Daisy the Cow appeared, I said to myself: "Here comes an udder joke" - but the writer excelled himself by crafting not one but than three udder gags in quick succession.
But there were also topical jokes to be had at the expense of celebrities such as Miley Cyrus and Nigella Lawson, the latter referring to an event that had only been in the news in the past few days, so the show had a very fresh feel to it.
The storyline was loosely based on the well-worn tale of Jack, played by Elizabeth Christensen, who sells Daisy, the family cow, to help the family out of a financial pickle. Noel White, who played Jack's mother, Dame Trott, was in terrific form, regularly engaging with the audience and frequently ad libbing in great style.
The real villain of the piece was not the Giant but his sidekick Slimeball (Philip Andrew), a character I can't recall from reading the story as a child, but an inspired addition to this brilliant version of the story.
I haven't been to a pantomime for many a year but for anyone thinking about taking their children - or even their Granny - to one this Christmas would have to go a very long way to beat this show.
A visit to the pantomime at the Roses Theatre in Tewkesbury has become a family tradition and a fitting way to start the Christmas season. This year’s performance of Jack and the Beanstalk did not disappoint.
The intimate nature of the theatre is ideal and wherever you sit you feel involved in the action, not just a spectator – perfect for little ones enjoying the pantomime for the first time.
The story of Jack and the Beanstalk unfolds in the village of Merrydale where evil Giant Blunderbore has demanded double taxes or he will steal and marry the Princess Demelza (Millie Booth). Jack, our hero played by Elizabeth Christensen, is determined to put things right!
The characters are brought to life beautifully, with Philip Andrew playing the odious Slimeball, the giant’s henchman with much comedy and the fabulous Noel White returning to the Roses as Dame Trott. And with an even more splendid wardrobe than last year!
My children’s highlight was Simple Simon, played by Simon Haskins, a timid, bumbling character until the audience shouts ‘Be Brave Simon!’ with which he turns into a superhero for a few moments.
Slapstick laughs a-plenty, and a wonderful score mixing classics and modern numbers, ensure that Jack and the Beanstalk is great fun for all.
Once again, huge congratulations go to the wonderful chorus made up of local children from the Gloucestershire, Herefordshire and Worcestershire counties selected from open auditions held in September.
For parents with very small children, I can report that there are some small bangs and flashes as the Edena the Eco fairy comes on stage, although this didn’t seem to worry the toddlers sitting mesmerised in front of me. The huge mechanical Giant Blunderbore is played for laughs rather than to frighten the audience and I did not hear any upset little ones when he arrived on stage.
Well done to the team at the Roses Theatre for another fantastic pantomime!