Jack and the Beanstalk panto – meet the cast

25th November 2021

Panto fun is waiting in the wings as the Little Theatre gears up to host Jack and a gang of fun friends to share his adventures up the beanstalk.

The show is promising action, comedy, song, dance, and special effects and audience participation between December 21 and 31.

And here’s a chance to meet the key cast members as they prepare for their roles in the show.

It is a joint venture with St George’s Theatre at Great Yarmouth, the Norfolk Music Hub and music teaching provider Charanga, and will once again be streaming the production to hundreds of schools nationwide.

Sheringham show dates are December 21-23 (1pm and 5pm), Christmas Eve at 10am and 1pm and back to 1pm and 5pm for December 26-31.

We are continuing to run at below capacity to allow for socially-distanced seating for those requesting it. Please call the box office on 01263 822347 to discuss your needs. Or book tickets direct at https://sheringhamlittletheatre.ticketsolve.com/shows/1173613210/events/428388455

 

JACK – Charlie Randall

Sheringham Little Theatre Jack and the Beanstalk Charlie Randall as Jack

Charlie Randall as Jack

Charlie is switching from a prince to a pauper for his panto role this year. Last year he was Prince Parp in Rapunzel. This year he is poor Jack, whose beanstalk journey involves fun, love and self-discovery.

And he is excited about his transition from aristocracy to impoverished adventurer.

“It will be quite different going from a fop to a classic fool – though neither of them are very bright, which is a bit of a trend I am spotting with my roles” smiled the 24-year-old from Aylsham.

“I love doing panto and it is great to be playing a part whose name is the title of the show,” said Charlie.

His other recent panto roles have included the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz, and LeFou in Beauty and the Beast.

Jack has romance in his role this year with brainy girlfriend Jill – but it is not helped by her task, as a junior councillor, of collecting taxes – including from hard-up Jack and his mum – to rebuild the town from the lockdown caused by giant Blunderbore.

 

DAME TIKTOK – Harry Wyatt

Sheringham Little Theatre Jack and the Beanstalk

Harry Wyatt as Dame Tiktok

Harry is stepping into brand new territory – as well as colourful frocks – for this year’s panto.

Despite being a young veteran of many panto roles, he will play Dame for the very first time.

His character is Dame TikTok – a trying-to-be trendy mum, working hard to educate and entertain son Jack in lockdown.

Harry, 27, from North Walsham, has been appearing in Little Theatre shows since he was 11 and appeared in a youth production of Bugsy Malone. His first panto was, coincidentally, Jack and the Beanstalk in 2012.

Roles in recent years range from Dick Whittington’s Cat and Little John in Robin Hood to Dandini in Cinderella, the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, and Fantazmo in last year’s Rapunzel show.

Harry is really looking forward to his debut as Dame, saying:  “I have watched some great actors create their Dames at Sheringham over the years, so I’ve hopefully learned a thing or two from them.

“There have been a lot of comedy sidekick roles in the past, so I am really looking forward to being the Dame in a small cast. It will be manic – but in a good way.”

 

JILL WEAVER – Emma Riches

Sheringham Little Theatre Jack and the Beanstalk

Emma Riches as Jill

Emma Riches is facing a “taxing role” in this year’s pantomime.

The 28-year-old actress and singer who was Rapunzel in last winter’s show is preparing to be Jill – a brainy, studious young woman following in the footsteps of her mother Jackie Weaver through her involvement on the local council.

But it means she has to collect taxes from everyone to repair the damage caused by a giant-inflicted lockdown.

That includes her boyfriend Jack and his mother Dame TikTok, who are poor and could face losing their home, which puts her in a tricky situation.

Emma said: “I am really looking forward to a change of role to something that is a bit more than just being a ‘princess’, and to working with most of last year’s panto team again.”

She was also Dorothy in The Wizard of Oz at partner theatre St George’s in her home town Great Yarmouth in 2019.

“I cannot wait to get rehearsing for panto again – it makes me feel Christmassy,” she added.

 

COLIN THE COW  – Olly Westlake

Sheringham Little Theatre Jack and the Beanstalk Olly Westlake

Olly Westlake as Colin the Cow

Colin the cow – Olly WestlakeYoung actor Olly Westlake is looking for the “moo-tivation” behind his latest character – Colin the pantomime cow.

“I’ve never played a comedy animal before,” said the 25-year-old from Southrepps.

“It will be over-the-top and physical, but relatable and believable – and I am looking forward to the challenge of finding the right voice and walk,” he explained.

And there should be some “aaahs” from the audience as Colin faces being sold off by his hard-up owner Jack to buy the magic beans.

Olly has appeared in two previous Sheringham pantos – as Maurice, Belle’s father in Beauty and the Beast in 2019 and as Will Scarlet in Robin Hood five years early.

He first appeared on stage as an eight-year-old in the title role of Oliver (Twist) at Mundesley close to his family home in Southrepps. He qualified as a professional actor three years ago and has been busy ever since, with recent work that has included voiceovers for a BBC radio play, and films for the British Film Institute and Channel 4.

MYSTERIOUS WOMAN

Sheringham Little Theatre Jack and the Beanstalk Katie Thompson

Katie Thompson as mysterious woman

Despite being  just 24 Katie is a Little Theatre veteran, having performed there since the age of five! After “chorus roles” in shows including pantomime she went on to take lead roles in major youth productions such as Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables.
Katie has also performed in professional “young rep” at the theatre, and was co-ordinator of the theatre’s prestigious Rewriting Rural Racism project.
She has also done stage management for both summer drama and pantomime seasons, and been an assistant to acclaimed director Marcus Romer at the Little Theatre.
Her appearance as “mysterious woman” in Jack and the Beanstalk will be … mysterious. You’ll have to see it to find out more.

 

WRITER AND DIRECTOR (and giant)– Nick Earnshaw

Olly Westlake, Charlie Randall and Harry Wyatt getting into panto mode

Sheringham Little Theatre Jack and the Beanstalk Nick as giant

Nick Earnshaw – writer, director … and giant

Panto creator Nick Earnshaw doing his homework on Jack and the Beanstalk. Nick has become Sheringham’s Mr Pantomime – directing and creating seven of the most recent festive shows, and even played Dame in one of them.

He has been in the theatre industry for more than 20 years as a professional director, teacher, drama coach, pantomime creator, script writer and actor. He is currently resident teacher and director of the Stafford Gatehouse Youth Theatre.

Giving a taste of this year’s Sheringham show he said: “There will be all the usual panto magic, music and comedy – but with a topical message of trying to show people they can once again get out and enjoy themselves.”

He said one piece of advice he always stuck to was “using Ladybird book stories as a base to make sure you get the storytelling elements clear within the show and then add a modern twist to the classic story.

Jack will repeat the shorter show pattern from Rapunzel last year, adding: “The format was forced on is last year by Covid, but it worked, so we are repeating it and building on its success.”

 

OTHER PANTO TEAM MEMBERS

Set Designer and builder – Peter Beck

Costumes – Mark Hudson, Libby Henshaw and Jenni Randall

Props – Mark Williams

Production Manager – Mark Benfield

Lighting – Chris Sainton-Clark

Technician – Matthew Simpson

Stage Manager – Katie Thompson

ASM – Carlo Cooper

Producer – Debbie Thompson

 

Sheringham Little Theatre Jack and the Beanstalk rehearsals