Panto fun for young

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Jacks and the Beanstalk - Lowther Pavilion

Pendle Productions’ second Christmas pantomime was aimed squarely at the host of seven year olds in an afternoon audience.

The cast, and the clap-your-hands recorded music, successfully whipped them into a continuous frenzy of booing and handwaving, led by CJ de Mooi of TV’s Eggheads as the obnoxious Fleshcreep.

Lytham St. Annes born Kivan Dene as a quick-fire wisecracking Simon, Ian Fox in his element as a voluminous Dame Tilly and the vigorous Anna Quayle as a hearty Jack give the performance its impetus, but the star turns are Daisy the Cow and the 12 foot Giant Blunderbore.

The show makes up in vitality what it lacks in charm, wit and local jokes and the second half where the principals interact more with each other has better pace, as they all too frequently exhort the audience with the panto catchphrase: “I think you can do better than that”.

BBC Radio Lancashire’s Poulton-based Sally Naden, as Fairy Twinkle alone made the watchers really listen too, but Conor Ryan from Coronation Street has much to learn in this department.

The young ensemble dancers from Lytham’s Clifton Academy show plenty of talent in support and deserve a strong routine of their own.

The youthful audience will undoubtedly remember the show. All the elements of a top class pantomime are there, though some will think they are not in the right balance over a noisy two and a half hours.

The show continues until December 30. Performance times vary.