THEATRE REVIEW : JACK AND THE BEANSTALK PANTO
The much anticipated, Janice Honeyman 2019 Panto, Jack And The Beanstalk, finally opened this weekend at the Mandela Theatre at the Joburg Theatre Complex.
Janice Honeyman’s ability to adapt well known storylines to include South Africanisms and humour to the end-of-year-panto is to be admired. I’ve no doubt her and the cast have been rehearsing for months before the opening performance, so you can imagine our surprise and delight, when the “Bokke’s” Rugby World Cup win on Saturday, was included as part of the plot. Undoubtedly a very clever last minute inclusion that we have come to expect from Janice Honeyman. Judging by the audiences screams of joy and roars of delight every time it was mentioned, it was certainly the right decision to include it!
Mies Miemie Mosbolletjie-Melba’s performance, played by Germant Geldenhuys, was stupendous! Germant lived the character and had the audience in stitches from laughter whenever she waddled onto the stage. And who doesn’t love Casper de Vries! In his debut Panto, he is the evil Hendrik Hideoso but we couldn’t help but love him.
Neo Motaung as Mrs Skwashie Mangowashie is the BEE mama, loaded and ready to grease any palm that needs greasing. A means to an end some might say. Her character is large and imposing and she portrays it convincingly.
This is a beautifully choreographed show, with a musical ensemble that you’re sure to find yourself tapping your feet to and wanting to stand up and move. I was wondering how the giant beanstalk would be incorporated into the production and was pleasantly surprised by the production’s decor, costumes and theatrics, including the kids, favourite flying superheroes!
Last year was our first Janice Honeyman panto experience, and the bar was set high by Snow White, so naturally, we were expecting something so much bigger this year. Did Jack And The Beanstalk live up to our expectations? Not entirely, but it’s not fair to continuously expect bigger and better. Comparisons aside, this year’s Panto is sure to have the adults in stitches by the stinging satire of South African politics whilst the kids will adore the stunning performance of the colourful characters, the music and giggling away at the “Bokke” references and the appearance of a few of their favourite superheroes.
The start of the panto season has indeed arrived and Jack And The Beanstalk is a definite addition to your holiday season ‘must do’s’.
The much anticipated annual panto is on stage until December 22nd, 2019 on The Mandela Stage, Joburg Theatre Complex.
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DISCLAIMER: WE RECEIVED TICKETS TO THE PERFORMANCE OF JACK AND THE BEANSTALK. I WAS NOT REQUIRED TO WRITE A POSITIVE REVIEW. THE OPINIONS I HAVE EXPRESSED ARE MY OWN.