Report and Photographs from the Headley Theatre Club production of Jack and the Beanstalk, January 1992

Other photosCompare with 2007 version

L to R: Jimmy Ellis, Vicky Ihua, Charlotte Paterson, Rachel Bennett (behind), Tony Grant, Rod Sharp, Doug Tanner (behind), Dawn Wolverson

L to R: Vicky Ihua, Annabel the cow, Rachel Bennett


Headley Theatre Club's Jack and the Beanstalk provided the best panto entertainment for many a year.

Jo Smith's script was as witty and topical as ever, but an injection of new blood into the cast and direction by Jo himself led to a much more disciplined and slick show. The chorus was kept down to a size where dance routines could be attempted - with great success.

The old stagers showed the way with some show-stopping performances. Particularly good were Rachel Bennett as the evil Witch Whey, Tony Grant equally at home as the dastardly Squire and the giant's bullying bouncer, and Jimmy Ellis whose simpering Dame was a delight. So too was the comic pairing of Rod Sharp and Dawn Wolverson, hilarious in their dual role of maniacal Scottish bailiffs and henchmen to the giant.

But it was the newcomers who added the extra zest. Not least among these were the youthful leads, both pupils at Bohunt School. The long-legged Vicky Ihua was an elegant and charming Jack, well matched to the pretty Princess Penelope of Charlotte Paterson.

Another real "find" was Doug Tanner as the giant - but no terrifying ogre he. This was a Roald Dahl type character, only in his case, the BFG stood for Big Fick Giant!
The new talent evidently inspired some younger members who rose to new heights this year. With the best voice on stage, Debbie Williamson showed great promise as Simon, Heidi Farnlucher was a spirited Jill and a vastly improved Melanie Bower looked and sounded good as an animated magic harp.

Others providing valuable support were Nick Webb as the kindly Wizard Wheeze, Laurie Lewis (Stammers), John and Kay McGregor (the King and Queen), and Wendy Downs (Sarah Giant). The children's favourites, Annabel the Cow and Gertie the Goose, were well played by Jamie Stickler and Simon Tanner and Nic Cheswick respectively.

The standard of singing was a credit to musical director Richard Toll who also provided a lively keyboard accompaniment to the well-known musical numbers.
Within the limits of the small stage, the sets and lighting were imaginative, the beanstalk cleverly conceived and the magic washing machine, first seen some years ago, was marvelled at yet again.

Also in the cast were: Ruth Bower, Jean Clark, Peter and Christopher Danes, Lucy Evans, Maggie and Karina Farnlucher, Tammy Lyne, Penny and Tammie McKay, Bruce Nicole, Louise Read, Jill Turner, Gemma McCartney, Katie Sawers, Helen and Christopher Sharp, Edward and William Toll and Simon Webb.

Jack, Anabelle the Cow and Witch Whey
Jack and Widow English
The Chorus
Harriet the Harp and Jim Giant
Jill (Heide Farnlucher), Simon (Deb Williamson) and Dunnit (Rod Sharp)
Gertie the Goose, Princess Penelope, Jack and Widow English
Gertie the Goose

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