Am-dram group presents panto 
as it used to be

Jack and the Beanstalk by Meeching Amateur 
Dramatic (MADS), 
Meeching Hall, Newhaven

It is good to see a large, lavish professional pantomime starring your favourite soap characters, but they are more like going to a West End musical these days so it was great to see Meeching Amateur Dramatics Society’s traditional pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk.

No frills and fripperies, just panto as it used to be when I was a child.

Not too long and plenty of audience participation.

It has all the necessary ingredients including a magnificent pantomime cow ably played by Gueni Jackson and Sharon Ward.

I went to the first matinee, which was packed with kids, some as young as two years old, and they loved every minute of it.

This is the first time MADS has staged a traditional pantomime since they put on Cinderella in December 2004 and their choice should be applauded. Congratulations to director Gill Veck and Tony Gibbs who came up with the idea.

Charlotte Fuller is a splendid Jack and Emma Ruggins a beautiful Princess.

Lee Harris kept us all laughing as Dame Trott and Kieran Beal was a great choice to play Simple Simon.

The resplendent King Hubert the Umpteenth of Serenia was Steve Wetherilt who looked and played the part well and the obligatory good fairy Thistledown was also well cast. Donna Beard sounded and looked very impressive as the Giant and the best piece of casting was selecting Wendy Gostock to play his henchman Rancid.

She looked and sounded really evil, producing a lot of boos from the audience.

Mandy Crnkovic choreographed the production and the chorus were excellent comprising Mandy, Paula Jackson, Jacky O’Callaghan, Ben Smith, Michael White and Lisa Wray.

There is still a chance to catch this excellent panto, as there is another matinee on Saturday, January 25, at 2.30pm, and evening performances nightly at 7.30pm until the 25th.

By Amanda Wilkins