Review by Karen Price, Wales Online

Jack And The Beanstalk, Porthcawl – 4/5


There’s nothing like a panto at Christmas – whatever your age – and after the covid pandemic it’s fabulous to see theatres packed once again with families eager for this dose of Christmas magic.

The Grand Pavilion at Porthcawl has long been making a name for itself for its festive shows and while it may be on a smaller scale than the neighbouring New Theatre in Cardiff and Swansea Grand Theatre, it proves that you don’t need a massive budget to put smiles on faces.

This year Jack And The Beanstalk is the chosen production and it features some impressive sets (a moving giant and growing beanstalk) lavish costumes (take a bow Tegwen Trott) and oodles of fun. Vern Griffiths is wonderful as the aforementioned Dame Tegwen complete with over-the-top mannerisms, those outrageous outfits and a few deadpan deliveries, while Ellena Louise Thompson sprinkles plenty of magic as the kindly Fairy Candy Floss.

Gregory Joshua-Cox has the kids – and adults – laughing as Squire Stinker, who lives up to his name by breaking wind every time he steps on stage. I mean who can resist fart jokes? And Samantha Spragg has everyone hissing and booing as the show’s resident baddie, Poison Ivy.

Kyle Tovey wins over the kids in the audience as Tegwen’s dimwitted son, Tommy, with lots of banter and silliness and while he is arguably the star of the show there is another character who you can’t resist falling in love with – Daisy the Cow. Hats off to the pair inside the costume for some impressive choreographed moves.

This show has everything you expect from a panto – audience participation, hit songs, ensemble pieces – and from the moment the curtain raises you will feel very festive indeed.

Jack And The Beanstalk is at Grand Pavilion, Porthcawl until Sunday, January 8. Click here for tickets.