A gun slinging hit of a panto

Jack and the beanstalk at the Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline.
Jack and the beanstalk at the Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline.
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I’ll be the first to admit, eyebrows were raised when I heard that this year’s traditional Christmas pantomime had been given a gun slinging, wild west makeover.

But make no mistake, the Alhambra Theatre’s production of the old favourite Jack and the Beanstalk, is a ten-gallon hat of a panto, stuffed with all the fun and laughter to keep youngsters and adults of all ages suitably entertained.

BIlly Mack provides a masterful performance as the panto dame.

BIlly Mack provides a masterful performance as the panto dame.

In what is a loose interpretation of the classic fairy tale, we follow the trials and tribulations of poor Jack (Craig McDougall) who is sent to sell his mother’s cow after it had stopped giving milk.

But having been persuaded to part with the cow for some magic beans, they grow into a giant beanstalk leading to a giant’s castle where Jack’s fiance Jolene (Kirsty MacLaren) and 10 chickens (don’t ask) are imprisoned.

Christmas 2017 marks the return to Dunfermline of undoubtably one of Scotland’s best panto dames in Billy Mack.

His, or should it be her (?) mastery of all we have come to expect from role is evident throughout this performance and is a triumph for the Alhambra.

But a mention must also go to panto stalwarts Alan Orr, who in the role of Jack’s Brother Silly Billy and Mark Hayden’s evil Mr Fleshcreep, delight the audience at every turn.

The experience of both actors helps keep the audience involved and ensures maximum oportunity for public interaction.

The quality and pace of the set changes means there’s never a lull in the proceedings, while the hard work of the supporting cast of Sheriff (David McKay), Fairy Dolly (Ashley Hope Allan) and dancers, not forgetting the chickens and Daisy the cow, give the production extra depth.

Yeeha! Jack and the Beanstalk is a sure-fire winner and shines as bright as any lights on any tree this Christmas.

Jack and the Beanstalk, Alhambra Theatre, Dunfermline runs from now until December 27. for details go to www.alhambradunfermline.com