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Jack and the Beanstalk

by on 17 July 2022

Jill Beats the Beanstalk

Jack and the Beanstalk

by Louis Rayneau

Future Spotlight Productions at Kidzania London, Westfield, Shepherd’s Bush, then streaming on Broadway on Demand from 22nd July, prior to UK cinema release.

Review by Viola Selby

KidZania is a world of its own, a kingdom for the kids to try out so many different careers and become inspired for their future; and this is just what this musical film production of Jack and the Beanstalk is, a true inspiration for rising and new talent and the magic that can be achieved with such a capable and confident cast and crew in just two days of filming.  It is a refreshingly modern twist on the much loved classic.

From the very beginning we are brought into a video game 90’s music-video-esque scene with singing that would rival any West End star.  This beginning, which some may be slightly confused by, is due to Jack being a gamer and the clever creation of ‘Cow’ now being a ‘Cow Console’, one of many inspired touches by director Louis Rayneau. 

There are some other slight inconsistencies within the plot, for example although Jack is the only one to climb the beanstalk, The Giant, another big role for Strictly Come Dancing star Joanne Clifton, has everyone trapped in his lair when Princess Jill comes to rescue them, something that is never explained.  But on the whole the piece is not only easy to follow but also a fabulously forward-thinking show of female-power (let’s say it’s not Jack who saves the story!)

Another example of the creativity of this crew is how they have used the city of KidZania as the set, which also acts as a marvellous marketing tool!  One of my particular favourite scenes is the one in the theatre where Princess Jill, played by Georgie Lovatt, a marvellous musical theatre marvel, and Jack Trott, played by the lustrous leading lad Edward Chitticks, are together successfully singing A Million Dreams from the Greatest Showman in the theatre, using only a ladder to create some steamily romantic cinematography. 

The definite highlight of this production is the cast’s singing and dancing high-calibre capabilities, particularly those of the original Six queen Natalie Paris who played the good Fairy Sunflower, Kyle Birch who played the King and the daringly delightful dancers, Connor Tidman and Elena Breschi, Tyla Nurden and Ella Goodwin.  All are excitingly choreographed by Rachel Sargent.   Their singing really made this a wonderful watch!  

The Giant’s servant Poison Ivy was made exceptionally evil yet superbly seductive by Jordan Frazier, particularly her tremendously terrifying take on Toxic by Britney Spears.  With Frazier’s singing and the dancers in chains, I wasn’t sure I was watching a family friendly fairy tale or a spicy spectacle.  Whilst Rosie Napper added the comedy with her theatrical East-End-like portrayal of Jack’s mother, an often forgettable character made in to the central comedic character.

 Finally you could not do a review for this production without mentioning the exceptional editing talents of Director of Photography and Videography Reece Darlington-Delaire, whose special effects transformed simple scenes into movie magic.  From romantic lighting to dramatic flashing and mood-making mist, the specific atmosphere and emotion of each scene was intensified and the cinematography perfected. Whilst it is very evident that musical director Edward Court succeeded in creating a musical makeover marvel of Jack and the Beanstalk, making each musical number a pleasure for the ears! 

Rayneau and his cast and crew have really outdone themselves! This is a daring and delightful depiction of a much loved classic that will inspire, entertain and educate its audiences both young and young at heart!

Viola Selby, July 2022

Photography by Michaela Walshe

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