REVIEW: Jack & The Beanstalk (Albany Theatre, Deptford)

After a busy Saturday of marching in the People’s Vote protest, Sunday saw us return to a more familiar stomping ground. Mummy was glad she had the foresight to book a late afternoon show, which allowed for a lazy morning and a quick trip to the playground beforehand. Mummy was less pleased that the bar in the Albany had run out of prosecco. Not that Mummy needs a drink at 3pm in the afternoon in a room full of toddlers. But it does rather take the edge off. Mummy was also displeased that Jack & The Beanstalk was such a popular show that her playground detour and fruitless prosecco hunt resulted in having to go and sit up in the balcony. Mummy had already suffered the indignity of having to sitting in the dress circle for Company this week and could not believe that this was happening again. The Munchkins were thrilled that they finally got to sit up high. Mrs Mummy was pleased to be out of sight and soon settled in for her 3pm nap.

Lyngo theatre’s production of Jack & The Beanstalk is a pretty traditional telling of the familiar tale. It’s really a storytelling session rather than a play, which does make it feel quite slow at times. It’s aimed at ages 3+ but there were plenty of younger children there, most of whom were getting quite restless, particularly in the early stages. CBeebies’ Patrick Lynch did an admirable job of trying to keep the audience engaged, and was rewarded with raucous laughter during moments of slapstick. He was also adept at dealing with heckling from miniature humans, many of whom fancied themselves as storyteller. There were some very effective visual props, and Mummy marveled at just how easily children are impressed by little bits of paper fluttering through the air. The absolute highlight for Mummy was the dubious looking one-legged stool which Lynch strapped on and milked for all it was worth. The children found this hilarious too, although probably not for quite the same reasons as Mummy.

Overall this was a nice enough way to spend an afternoon but definitely falls into the camp of shows which are squarely aimed at children and don’t really offer much for their grown-ups. Although Mummy does recommend googling “strap on one-legged milking stool”……

Rating: Raindrops, whiskers and kettles (aka 3/5 of my favourite things)