A COMPETITION to grow the tallest beanstalk to celebrate a town’s pantomime has resulted in a wealth of greenery springing up in its theatre.

The Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond, launched the competition in the autumn ahead of its pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk, and gave out hundreds of free bean-growing packs to local schools and theatre-goers – offering prizes for the tallest plants.

More than 90 entries were received by the time the competition closed and the winners have been announced.

The first prize went to Alex Whittall of Catterick for his bean plant that grew to an impressive 67cm, closely followed by Maisie Forbes from Brompton-on-Swale at 65cm, and Harley Hope from Catterick at 62cm.

“People have really entered into the spirit of the competition,” said Clare Allen, the theatre’s chief executive. “Some had decorated them with glitter and tiny baubles and others had even given their beanstalks names.”

“Alex really enjoyed taking part in the competition,” said mum, Rachel Whittall.

“He watched it grow daily and when it grew out of the jar we supported it on a stick that he was able to mark with regular measurements.”

Prizes were provided by Frenchgate Fudge-makers and Weigh In, from Richmond. The bean seeds were donated from Ravensworth Nurseries.

Jack and the Beanstalk runs until Sunday, January 3. Tickets from £7 to £21 are available from the box office on 01748-825252 or via the online booking service at www.georgiantheatreroyal.co.uk