Hapless villains, a dashing young hero and a dame with more double entendres than a Carry On film.
These are all ingredients to be found in any successful pantomime, as the latest by Haverhill’s award-winning Centre Stage Company is sure to be.
Jack and the Beanstalk gets underway at the Haverhill Arts Centre on Saturday, with shows at 1pm and 4.30pm, and continues with further performances on Sunday, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
In the hands of first-time director, Cian Harriss, the adaptation by Becca Neal has a smaller main cast than is sometimes the case, but a chorus of nearly 30 means it is no small production.
Charlotte Scammerton, who is choreographing her second Centre Stage panto (this is also musical director Tony Trott’s second panto), said: “It really does get the audience involved.
“There are lots of chances for the kids and the adults to shout out and boo.”
The story centres around Jack (Wes Ruthven, in his first leading role) losing his cow Daisy, only for a friendly fairy, Flora (Sam Barker), to gift him some magic beans, which as the story goes, grow into the beanstalk.
Jack climbs the beanstalk to discover Jill (Faye Dower) is held captive by the giant.
He sets out to rescue Jill and steal the Golden Goose that lays the golden eggs that Jack can use to pay off his and his mother’s (Mother Trott, as played by Steven Roach) debts.
While all of this is happening the villain of the piece, Baron Hardup (Graeme Johnson) and his feeble debt collectors Dollar and Buck (Jacqui Rees Player and Emma Letcher) go about their dastardly business.
The panto is also littered with great songs, from the opening tune, A Hard Day’s Night to numbers by Queen, Abba and Madonna.