Someone once told me that the panto was a child’s first introduction to theatre.
And it was hard not to feel a childlike wonder when the cast of Jack and the Beanstalk took to the stage.
It’s officially panto season and there’s no better way to kick things off than with a classic story and a talented cast from our own backyard.
Castlegate Arts and Ten Feet Tall Production came together to bring their own version of Jack and the Beanstalk to Aberdeen Arts Centre, which started its run on Saturday.
Fairytales and magic are a major ingredient to a successful panto, but Torry-raised Joyce Falconer has written a show which has its roots sown deep in the Granite City.
The story follows Jack and Ma Mackie with their coo Mucklemoo in the fictional city of Abergreen – but things aren’t always rosy in the city’s gardens.
Jack and his friends fight to overcome the Donald Turnip, loosely based on a certain United States president, to reclaim ownership of Abergreen.
The show knows its audience, with jokes about Scraps the Seagull who’s probably swiped your chips down at Fittie, to the subtle jab at Milltimber’s posh “sweet potato crisps” landing laughs from the crowd.
It does a beautiful job, not only offering fun and jokes for the entire family, but also by making you feel part of the story.
The cast gave a high-energy performance, bringing Aberdeen’s identity to life.
A special mention goes out to Mark Wood, whose portrayal of Ma Mackie had the audience doubling over in fits of laughter with his stand-up comedian presence – all the while never breaking from his character of the over-the-top “wifey fae Abergreen”.
So, if there’s one panto show you’re mulling over seeing this holiday season, make it Jack and the Beanstalk.
The show will run throughout the Christmas period, finishing its run on December 31.