A
 
Web www.artsmart.co.za
A R T S M A R T
arts news from kwazulu-natal

supper theatre
www.artsmart.co.za
enquiries@artsmart.co.za
KZNPO advert DTA advert .
See also our Classified ads
 

NB: as of 23 September 2008, all new artSMart articles are being published on the site news.artsmart.co.za.

JACK AND THE BIG STALK – REVIEW (article first published : 1999-10-6)

A “rollicking load of good clean dirty fun” is how Eric Hutton describes his latest adult pantomime running in the Cellar, Jack and the Big Stalk. Don’t be misled by the word “pantomime” into thinking that this is a show suitable for the whole family. Sure, all the time-honoured pantomime gags are there as well as caricatured performances and wild and wonderful costumes. But Jack and the Big Stalk is very definitely and unmistakably for those who are not phased by a script that relies heavily on sexual innuendo (Innuendo? More like the inevitable forward thrust of a snow-plough!) or occasional jokes that are highly crude and anal.

So, if this is not your scene, then read no further.

However, if you like your entertainment racy, risque and highly ribald, you’ll find Jack and the Big Stalk highly enjoyable. The fourth in a series which includes Sinderella, Aladdin and Sleeping Beauty, it certainly has some of the funniest and wittiest dialogue. It is set on Fukawi Island (work it out!), a paradise of “sand, sea, surf and cellulite”.

Anthony Stonier as Jack’s gin-sodden mother, walks off with the show. With a powerful and proud stage presence, he has grown in stature immensely in these productions over the years and has scripted Jack and the Big Stalk along with its director Peter Court.

Coming a very close second was Clinton Philander as a talking flower-chewing cow (sorry, bullock!) and the fact that he is able to “out-act” his whacky black and white fake fur costume is proof of the staying ability of this mercurial and highly musical performer. David Hierons is deliciously outrageous, as always, playing Melenoma the house-keeper of short-sighted Giant Tess, played with much swash-buckling fervour in a wild, red Tina Turner styled wig by Heather Barclay-Whiffin.

Greg King is another actor who has improved considerably since the beginning of the series and his Jack is an appealing off-beat, hip-talking, intellectually-challenged (“he’s not the brightest crayon in the box”) young man with an erectile problem. That is, of course, until he exchanges the cow for a handful of magic beans. Then things start to grow, not least in his tight-fitting lycra shorts! A giant green penis rises from the ground and heads skywards. “Nobody that I know” quips the cow, after a quick inspection.

The diminutive Carol Trench plays the spoilt brat princess Ophelia (or “Off” for short) dressed in costumes reminiscent of the popular children’s Flower Fairy books. For some reason, when Ophelia and Jack meet and fall in love, their voices change and become deeper and well-modulated. As regards Carol, this was a welcome change as her pouty, tight jawed tone was irritating and often inaudible. But she was forgiven all when she launched into a beautiful solo number.

Missing from the cast this year was Norraine Swanby, a stalwart of the previous three productions. She may not have been on stage in body but every night her recorded voice provides the singing voice of David Hierons.

Glynnis Whittaker’s costumes were bright, attractive and humorous. Greg King’s colourful and flower bedecked set extended to the Cellar entrance, a welcome surprise to audience members as they entered the venue. A light curtain offered quick changes of scene and provided a backlit screen for some hilarious silhouette sequences.

Producer Eric Hutton and director Peter Court can probably sit back and expect another long and successful run. The Cellar offers a good three-choice menu with Curried Butternut and Yellow Pepper Soup or Smoked Chicken & Olive Salad as starters. As a main course there is Roast Fillet of Beef served in a pastry boat with a Madagascan green peppercorn sauce or Grilled Line Fish with shoyu sauce (a combination of mushrooms, onion, leeks and bean sprouts with soya sauce). For dessert, there’s Mozart Gateaux or Baked Banana Sponge in caramel sauce. I had the chicken salad, the beef and the gateaux and all were delicious. For vegetarians, there’s home-made Chinese pastry pie filled with stir fry vegetables and topped with cheese.

Book at Computicket. For corporate or block bookings/parties call Saroja on (031) 369-99505 or David Lloyd-Jones on (031) 705-2555. Special lunch-time performances (popular for office parties) have been scheduled for Tuesdays and Thursdays during December.


 A current news
crafts
dance
festivals
drama
film & tv
literature
music
supper theatre
visual arts
miscellaneous

leisuresmart
letters to the editor

classified ads

 A archives
crafts
dance
drama
festivals
film & tv
literature
music
supper theatre
visual arts
miscellaneous

letters

home page


a co-production by caroline smart services and .durbanet. site credits
copyright © subsists in this page. all rights reserved. [ edit ] copyright details  artsmart