The Chameleons are affiliated to NODA (the National Operatic and Dramatic Association) and this is their representatives independent Critique.

Jack and The Beanstalk

Date : 19th January 2002

Venue: Brent Town Hall

Report by: Harvey Kesselman

With an excited audience of children accompanied by parents, grandparents and perhaps other relations, we entered a crowded foyer buzzing with activity and expectation. A full house awaited the opening of this, the latest offering by The Chameleons. We were not disappointed. From the very beginning we were given the gist of what was to come. The first two characters, Pick and Shovel (Craig Marshall and Simon Crowley), in a knock-a-bout routine, were very funny, and their scenes with their 'henchmen', Geoffrey Coad and Stuart La Plain, together with Crash, Bang and Wallop, Smash and Grab, Arlette Kamellard, Johana Foley, Les Elliot, Jeremy Spolander, and Ginge Anderson, the later doubling up as the Wizard, were greeted with delight by the audience.
The 'evil' Squire Travis, Stephen Smailes, was booed (quite rightly) on every entrance and he certainly made the most of his role. Louise Ashman as Jack was just right, she looked good, sang and acted the part very well, and her scenes with Jill, Hannah Bain, worked well, I would have liked Hannah to have been a little more positive with her dialogue, there was a tendency to upstage herself, but i did enjoy her performance. What can I say about Stuart Everett? As the Dame, he was truly wonderful, going over the top, getting the audience to join in, a most memorable performance. Dear Daisy the Cow: Gemma Holloway (front) and Madeleine Spolander (back), most probably were very hot in that costume, but managed their dance routine with aplomb. 

The opening of the second act, inside the pulverizer’s Castle was very effective. How Linda Rawley managed to keep still (well almost still) wearing that costume was very good and her costume was excellent. As for poor Herietta Hen, Joan Munday, clucked her way through the part eggactly right. Seema Ali looked suitable slinky as Miss Funnypenny, the Squires assistant. All the villagers obviously enjoyed themselves. Only a lack of space prevents me from naming them all, but I did like their involvement in the pantomime. The responses from the audience proved how successful this pantomime was, (in fact my wife was hoarse from all the yelling she was doing).
There were so many people involved in putting this show on, it would make this report three times as long to write, so I hope you forgive me if I just mention a few.

I do congratulate Radnor Everett and Robert Spolander for once more creating a most enjoyable pantomime, Janette Edwards waving her baton, and occasionally joining in with the dialogue; Stage Manager Chris Davis and his crew; Lighting Andrew Bird; Props, Costumes and Make-up, Sarah Edwards, Harlequin Costume design, Stuart Everett (and friends). Dennis Cater's sound was not always clear, and the voice of the giant was inclined to be rather muffled, this might have been caused by the microphone being held too close to the mouth.
The appearance of the giants 'hand' was very amusing.

What a joy it was to see a pantomime that all ages could enjoy. The Chameleons once again came up trumps with this, their latest effort.
Thank you for inviting us, and for giving my wife and I the opportunity of meeting some of the cast, and for giving us a very enjoyable evening.
p.s. I hope Harry Potter enjoyed it too.