REVIEW: Jack & His Big Stalk @Sallis Benney Theatre

Brian Butler January 28, 2018

Starring the crème de la crème of Brighton’s drag royalty, this year’s offering from the Alternative Panto company is stacked high as a beanstalk with innuendo, double takes and downright honest to goodness rudery.

The company, photo by Tyrone Darling
The company, photo by Tyrone Darling

The beautifully melodious Allan Jay plays the naïve Jack with more to offer inside his tights than most damsels in distress could cope with. He meets his match in his girl friend Fanny Firkin, played deliciously by Jason Suttton aka Miss Jason who cavorts round the stage like a 16 year old girl or should that be 16 stone ? Oh no she isn’t, Oh yes she is!

There is no weak link in this outrageous romp – from Sally Vate’s opening as Fairy Mary and his wonderfully drunken Magical Harp, to the arch villains Dave Lynn as Felicity and Christopher Howard as a seedy Rocky Horror Giant Thunderballs.

Davina Sparkle aka David Pollikett is divine as the oh so posh Duchess whose personal minstrel, also with ample equipment in his tights is played for all its campery by Jason Lee.

Lola Lasagne adds to the all-star line up with a wry sarcastic portrayal of Jack’s mother Dame Daisy.

My only regret is that the prodigiously talented Steven Banks aka Stephanie Von Clitz isn’t given enough exposure and has to literally hoof around as Vera the old cow.

A tight script by Andrew Stark has all the right level of lameness you expect in pantoland and there is so much talent and experience onstage that when things go wrong, the ad libs and asides cover any shortcoming there might have been.

Directed by Allan Cardew with great skill and humour to bring out all the talents of his cast, the show runs at the Sallis Benney theatre until February 4.

There are a few tickets left for some shows.

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Bucket collections taken at the end of each performance are for the work of the LGBT Community Safety Forum along with proceeds from the sale of programmes.