Belfast Telegraph

Jack And The Beanstalk review: Fun for all family and full of beans (magic ones)

By Joe Nawaz

There isn't anything quite like a dame. Rogers and Hammerstein knew that.

Local actor Ross Anderson obviously has an idea or two on the subject, as his Mrs Dolly Dosh, currently marauding about the Waterfront stage in Jack And The Beanstalk testifies to.

Only his Mrs Dosh might add something about a meat and two veg - just one of the reasons for that being she's the matriarch of a hungry family about to be made destitute courtesy of the wicked Penny-Pinchers.

Being a pantomime worth its salty humour, "Cracker" Jack and old mother Dosh triumph with a song, a dance and a lot of excited children telling them off for looking in wrong direction.

Anderson is the big, glorious camp heart of this rollicking rendition of the old favourite, telling Jack off for not bringing French haricot (or "les beans", if you will) back from his trading of Daisy the cow, but dumb old magic ones. This is wonderful button-pushing panto at its best. The kids get to holler and boo at villainous Mr and Mrs Penny-Pincher, who threaten to steal Christmas, and do a great line in Roald Dahl-esque horribleness.

Meanwhile, adults can laugh at the good, clean filth and just delicious rudeness dished up by Dolly Dosh. From singing about missing her Prince Albert, to decrying latecomers with "there's people trying to act up here" like a May McFettridge on poppers, it would take a very cross dresser not to be charmed by her antics. Turns out clichés exist for a reason, and this really is fun for all the family.

Four stars

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