Middlesbrough Theatre, Jack and The Beanstalk

IT’S looking a lot like Christmas down at Middlesbrough Theatre with the opening of yet another outstanding Yuletide pantomime.

Extravaganza Productions never fails to impress with its annual panto that, in my humble opinion, is one of the best seasonal shows in the region.

Once again, they have pulled off a masterpiece with this year’s performance of Jack and The Beanstalk, which boasted an incredible set – complete with an almighty giant that reached out to the audience – wonderful costumes, song and humour.

Brilliantly written, witty, fast-paced and colourful, there is never a dull moment in the two-hour show that had children giddy with excitement and parents hoarse by the time the final curtain came down.

Scott Gallagher stole the show once again as the panto’s funny man, this time as the loveable Simple Simon. He’s such a regular at the Middlesbrough Theatre now, he has the Boro dialect down to a tee and has the audience eating out of his hand.

But as always, he is surrounded by a talented and strong cast, which this year includes John Altman, better known as EastEnders’ Nasty Nick, as Fleshcreep, Danny Posthill as Dame Dottie Durden, and Shelley Anne Rivers as the gorgeous Fairy Vegetable.

Will Breckin and Hannah Marie Kilminster led the cast as Jack and Princess Rosalinde, showcasing their brilliant singing voices with an array of songs, not least the young audience’s favourite Love is an Open Door, from the Frozen movie.

Try to get tickets for this year’s show if you can. You won’t be disappointed.

Karen Westcott