• Amy Toledano

Jack and the Beanstalk presented by Buglight Theatre Company

What is it?

Jack and the Beanstalk: Live in Your Living Room is a live play on Zoom! It is performed in the traditional panto style which brings a much needed break to all of us in lockdown. Because it is live, this production allows for a totally interactive performance, even though it is online! All cameras are on, microphones are hot, and the audience is encouraged to respond and interact with the cast as the screen constantly shifts. 

What is it about?

Not unlike the traditional Jack & The Beanstalk, there is mean old giant (hilariously played by Richard Galloway) but this time, he has gone completely power hungry and is on a mission to take over the world, beginning with all the boys and girls who have logged into the Zoom session! We soon meet Jill (Holly Greig), who is a virtual Vlogger (Instagram Celeb, if you will), who is on "lockdown" inside the giant's home in the clouds. The giant believes Jill, with all her Vlogging knowledge, will be able to help him succeed. Back on earth, we meet our heroes Jack, Dazey the Cow and Dame Pinch. As we know, Jack and his mother are quite down on their luck, but in this panto version, Dazey procures the magic beans and Jack saves Jill when he opens a spam email from the Giant which contains an SOS from Jill!

How did it make me feel?

As far as virtual/Zoom plays go, this one is very well done. There are no connection issues, it is flawlessly directed (by Sarah Lyle & Keeley Lane), and it is high energy, which helps with engagement on a small screen. What stands out the most and really makes the production work, is the way in which each transition from character to character is seamless and completely unique to one another. I love that Cre8 and Buglight Theatre came together to create such a fun piece for families to offer something a little different while we are all stuck at home without any theatre.

Anything Else?

I do believe that theatre/panto productions still work best onstage, especially when it is an interactive piece, but this is a fantastic substitute for the time being.

Natasha x

Jack and the Beanstalk was performed via Zoom until the 19th July 2020.

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