Jack & the Bean-Sprout!
Drama Centre/Last Saturday
What is the value of a handful of magic beans? Some might deem them utterly useless, to be taken lightly, or others might harbour some scepticism. Or you could surrender your good sense to the wind and just choose to believe in the magic.
Despite its fairy-tale origins, Jack & the Bean-Sprout! should not be taken lightly. Yes, the pantomime is funny, a tad too silly at times, and is largely meant for families with children. However, judging from the laughter and the raucous audience participation, it was not just the kids who were having a ball of a time. It is family-friendly, yet peppered with enough double entendres to keep the adults happy.
Directed by Ivan Heng, the play is supported by a genuinely funny cast. Caleb Goh is believable as the gullible Jack, and Darius Tan as the casino-loving, emotionally blackmailing Widow Neo is a tour de force in her sequined outfits cut till there.
The motley crew of loansharks-turned-civil servants, the Widow's sidekicks Siew Dai and Kopi Gao, and the hilarious Golden Hits Harp and Goose Mangat (the names alone will have you tittering), will leave you in stitches.
The cast should also be praised for dealing with onstage technical difficulties with aplomb. A faulty prop door leads the characters to use the non-existent "back door", and when Siew Dai's (played by Jo Tan) wig falls off, she attributes it to stress due to being accosted by a group of thugs.