Hastings & St. Leonards on-line community newspaper
Jack and the Beanstalk (image supplied by WRT)

Jack and the Beanstalk (image supplied by WRT)

Jack and the Beanstalk – the facts updated!

The popular family tradition of Christmas pantomime is always a regular event at Hastings White Rock Theatre (WRT). This year Jack and the Beanstalk is the WRT’s annual festive entertainment. HOT’s Paul Way-Rider has received photos from the WRT of the well received show which started its run earlier this month and are featured below.

Here are a few facts you may not know about the panto and its production at the White Rock Theatre.

According to researchers, the story of Jack and the Beanstalk originated more than 5,000 years ago, based on an archaic story form now known as The Boy Who Stole Ogre’s Treasure. The modern version we know as Jack and the Beanstalk first appeared as The Story of Jack Spriggins and the Enchanted Bean in 1734. This is the best known of the ‘Jack tales’, a series of stories featuring the archetypal Cornish and English hero and stock character, ‘Jack’.

Michelle Collins

Michelle Collins (image supplied by WRT)

This year’s production stars singer and X-factor icon, Chico as ‘Jack’ and Michelle Collins (of EastEnders and Dr Who fame) plays the good fairy, ‘Fairy-nuff’. Michelle used to visit Hastings as a child and remembers the pier and amusements along the seafront fondly.

Popcorn. A visit to panto isn’t complete without an enjoyable snack. The WRT will sell almost 4,000 portions of popcorn over the Jack and the Beanstalk performances in December!

Twenty Seven. The number of times the cast of Jack and the Beanstalk will perform to panto goers over December.

One. The number of Beanstalks on stage in Jack and the Beanstalk. However, there will be three more beanstalks in the theatre, as the place is decorated ready for the opening of this year’s panto.

Fireworks. These November favourites aren’t just for Bonfire night – the show will have pyrotechnics to light up your panto experience (safely of course).

It’s Panto Time!

Chico as Jack

Chico as Jack (image supplied by WRT)

Chico hit number 1 in 2005 with his single ‘It’s Chico Time’… who knows, you might even hear a version performed live in the show!

Pantomimes tend to include a dazzling fairy and an evil villain. It’s panto tradition that the fairy always enters from stage right, and the evil villain from stage left.

Although pantomime is immensely popular and performed in venues all over the UK, pantomime isn’t actually British. Modern panto developed partly from the 16th century ‘commedia dell’arte’ tradition of Italy and other European stage traditions, such as 17th-century masques and music hall.

The WRT Hospitality Manager will order wands, toys and other panto related merchandise as early as August and the WRT usually start planning for the next pantomime before the current year’s show has delivered it last punch line.

Jack and the Beanstalk opens on Fri 14 December and runs until Sun 30 December at Hastings White Rock Theatre.
To book go to or call 01424 462288.
Standard tickets from only £20 and a family package from £68.


Pictures from the show (all supplied by The White Rock Theatre)


The White Rock Theatre lit up in green for the panto

The White Rock Theatre lit up in green for the panto









Jack (played by Chico) and Daisy the Cow

Jack (played by Chico) and Daisy the Cow









Cast hear the Giant's voice

Cast hear the Giant’s voice









Dame Trott and dancers

Dame Trott and dancers









Silly Billy

Silly Billy









Silly Billy and Daisy the cow dance

Silly Billy and Daisy the cow dance









Fleshcreep and dancers

Fleshcreep and dancers







Fairy Spice played by Michelle Collins

Fairy Spice played by Michelle Collins















Posted 08:12 Saturday, Dec 1, 2018 In: Performance

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