Five-star panto pays sweet nod to Eurovisions Sam Ryder in enchanting show

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    It's that time of year when audiences are shouting "oh no they didn't…oh yes they did," – and Liverpool's Royal Court have delivered the festive season's must see pantomime.

    One of the funniest festive productions from Liverpool's Royal Court yet, Scouse Jack And The Beanstalk has it all.

    From a phenomenal cast full of acting icons, including Andrew Schofield, Jake Abraham and Lindzi Germain, to a homage to Eurovision star Sam Ryder and nods to comedy sketches of years gone by, the two hour production is fun, fabulous and flawless from start to finish.

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    The story follows Jack, who dreams of adventure and being with the love of his life Jill, but things take a dramatic turn after he is forced to sell his beloved cow and has to rescue Daisy from the clutches of the giant – and save the fortunes of the city in the process.

    While this may sound familiar, it is anything but, and in usual Royal Court fashion, the panto takes the basic elements of the traditional fairytale and puts its own twist on the story – with hilarious consequences.

    Directed by the wonderful Stephen Fletcher, Scouse Jack and The Beanstalk is a thrilling ride full of brilliant one liners, hit songs and pop culture references that leave you cheering for more.

    One such pop culture reference was of course Eurovision, which the pantomime made many nods to throughout the night.

    Jack star Michael Fletcher delivered a jaw-dropping homage to both the competition and Sam Ryder in the second act, and at one point, you felt like the actual Spaceman singer was onstage performing too.

    Michael was a joy to watch throughout – whether it was his incredible singing voice, or Michael's hilarious interactions with the audience – including one catchphrase that I am still saying long after leaving the theatre.

    Both he and the brilliant Hayley Sheen were also two performers I could have watched all night. Their voices filled the audience with such joy, particularly as they led a sing-along to Elvis' The Wonder Of You, which deserved a standing ovation all of its own.

    Jack Abraham (of Hollywood film Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels fame) left you in tears of laughter as Daisy The Cow, with his dry-humour bouncing superbly off the villainous commissioner, played by none-other than BBC Scully and Coronation Street actor Andrew Schofield.

    As always, Andrew is a masterclass in acting, with his and Keddy Sutton's fabulous duet in act two showcasing the comedic genius of both performers.

    Clink and Tinstar actress Lindzi Germain also wowed the audience with her impressive vocals throughout, particularly on Fever and Bat Out Of Hell, while her chemistry with Liam Tobin also made the pair a duo that you just couldn't take your eyes off, as they delighted with their witty dialogue and physical comedy moments.

    The entire cast also gave what can only be considered as one of the most inventive segments I have witnessed in a theatre production in act one, as they recreated an iconic eighties music video to tell the story of Jack and Jill's love for one another.

    No spoilers here though, as the incredible spectacle of this scene needs to be witnessed and enjoyed for yourself. It is a truly impressive moment.

    Along with Olivia Du Monceau's gorgeous set design, this is one pantomime I am going to be talking about for years to come.

    If you're looking for a must see pantomime this festive season, then look no further than Scouse Jack and The Beanstalk.


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